Common Paediatric Pathologies
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Metatarsus adductus is seen in around 1 in 1000 births. Also known as metatarsus varus, the forefoot is rotated inward towards the mid line in a flexible or rigid nature. Stretching exercises and manipulative therapies can improve the foot posture and in most cases the foot position will straighten spontaneously. However in rigid cases there are surgical and conservative treatments available. Read on to find out more about metatarsus adductus and the use of Bebax boots in treating it.
Treatment with Bebax boots
The Bebax boot is a soft leather and velcro boot, which allows progressive and dynamic correction of congenital forefoot deformities. With adjustability and a multi-directional hinge the boot fits comfortably and adapts easily for correction in all three planes. Bebax boots are fitted and then adjusted on a fortnightly to monthly basis with the goal for straightening the forefoot and heel position. Bebax boots are mainly worn at night and treatment usually lasts around 6 months. Bebax boots are worn along with parents and therapists performing stretching exercises, tissue loosening massage and other manipulative therapies. Bebax also offers an alternative to serial casting is removable for stretching and hygiene.
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Hip dysplasia is a problem that is sometimes noticed in babies, and sometimes in children, around the time they’re beginning to walk. It is sometimes called ‘clicky hips’, because if you move the hips of a baby with hip dysplasia, you can feel a little click. Usually, the ball at the top of your baby’s thighbone (the femoral head) is held in a cup-shaped socket in the pelvis. The ball is held in the socket by ligaments and muscles. If your child has hip dysplasia, then the femoral head can move away from that normal position and your baby’s hip will not develop correctly.
How would I know if my baby has hip dysplasia?
Sometimes hip dysplasia is not obvious. It is easy for you to miss it. Doctors and early childhood nurses do regular checks so that they don’t miss it either.
They look for a baby who:
has uneven skin creases near the buttocks
has legs which are a different length
doesn’t move their leg normally
has a turned out foot.
Your doctor, midwife or early childhood nurse can check your baby’s hips:
one week after birth
six weeks after birth
six months after birth
when they begin to walk.
What treatment will my child need?
If hip dysplasia is picked up at birth, your baby could wear a soft brace (a Pavlik harness) for 6 to 10 weeks. This will help the hip develop normally. A Pavlik harness will not delay your baby’s development. Some babies will need an operation to put the femoral head back into its socket.
Your baby’s hips should develop normally after treatment. Your doctor will monitor your child for rare problems such as arthritis.
Where to get help
If you think your baby might have hip dysplasia, speak to your doctor. For help and support with caring for your baby if they need a Pavlik harness, you can speak to an oapl clinician.