There are many pediatric conditions of upper & lower deformities & injuries which can be effectively corrected through non-operative treatments including physical therapy. However, in cases where surgery is required, treatment options generally include nerve decompression, fracture repair, arthroscopic surgery & reconstructive surgery for brachial plexus injuries. Pediatric limb deformities can either be congenital – present at the time of birth or may in cases occur at a later stage like resulting from arthritis, infection, fracture or as tumor. Congenital deformities of lower limbs commonly include developmental disorders which cause alteration in shape & appearance of legs. However, exact cause of these disorders is not yet known. But there are several factors including genetic, which influence fetal growth in womb. Moreover, chemicals & teratogenic drugs can also cause congenital deformities.
Congenital Deformities of Lower Limbs
Some congenital deformities of lower limbs include the following.
- Congenital Talipus Equino Varus – Commonly known as clubfoot, congenital talipus equino varus is one of the most common & obvious condition of all pediatric foot deformities. Foot may become twisted inwards in this condition in such a way that the top of foot comes in place where the bottom of foot should be.
- Flat Foot – also known as Pes Planus, flat foot is a deformity of feet, wherein the arch running lengthwise along the sole of feet collapse, or have not been formed at all. This may either happen in one or both feet. As a result, infant’s feet may appear flat & which is normal since the arch is yet to form.
- Congenital Genu Varus – Commonly called bowed legs, congenital genu varus is a condition which is seen among children below the age of 2 years. The lower legs are found to curve outwards in this condition. Therefore, when a child with this condition stands with both feet joined, a gap is found to appear between lower legs & knees. Most often, this is a normal appearance of legs & would gradually improve by the time children reach age of 3 – 4 years. Night splints are often given in such cases or osteotomy may be performed in severe cases.
- Leg Length Discrepancy – This is usually a condition in which one leg is shorter than the other. Eventually, this would lead to problems in posture & walking pattern of children. Limb length discrepancy is usually associated with pain in ankle, knee, hip or back. However, this can successfully corrected through a reconstructive surgical intervention known as limb lengthening.
Congenital Deformities of Upper Limbs
Congenital hand deformity is a condition of hand or any part of hand & which was present at the time of birth. These type of deformities are particularly disabling since hands are very important for children’s requirement of interaction. It would therefore be sensible to provide treatment at early stages before the condition becomes severe. Some common pediatric hand deformities include the following.
- Syndactyly – This is the most common pediatric deformity in which two or more fingers are found to be fused together. Simple syndactyly involves fusion of soft tissues of fingers, whereas complex syndactyly involves both, fusion of bones & soft tissue of fingers.
- Contractures – Contractures usually result by improper differentiation of cells. This may cause abnormal pulling of digits as in congenital trigger thumb cases where children may not be able to extend the thumb in a straight & normal fashion.
- Constriction Ring Syndrome – This abnormality in children is usually found to occur due to involvement of a constricting band of tissue around an arm or finger. This may therefore interrupt blood flow to the digit & normal growth of tissues. Moreover, this disorder is quite often associated with other congenital abnormalities like cleft palate, cleft lip, clubfoot or other craniofacial anomalies.
Pediatric Hand & Leg Deformity Correction in India
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