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The paediatric flatfoot has long occupied a place in the medical literature, with concerns about the significance of its appearance. At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a paper in this journal provoked active debate about the paediatric flatfoot as part of development, and proposed a considered titration of presenting cases in effort to justify treatment and appreciated the range and expected change in normal foot posture with growth. A decade later, the availability of normative paediatric foot posture data, and the prospective findings to confirm lessening flatfeet with age, encourage a structured and considered approach to this frequent primary care presentation. The pragmatic concept of the boomerang is built upon the research identifying the paediatric flatfeet likely to be symptomatic, thus requiring intervention, and filtering from those likely to remain asymptomatic. Differential diagnoses are advisedly considered, and gait remains the hallmark outcome. In this contemporary guide, an eight step strategy has been developed to improve the approach to community paediatric flatfeet concerns. Further, the three 'boomerang' flatfeet factors delineating symptomatic from asymptomatic flatfeet, and applicable cut-off levels, are availed for practical reference and use. Given the recognised state of overdiagnoses and resulting unnecessary treatment that pervades the 21st century, it is timely for clear '20:20' vision for the presentation of the paediatric flatfoot.
The pediatric flatfoot has long occupied a place in the medical literature, with concerns about the significance of its appearance. At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, an article in this journal provoked active debate about the pediatric flatfoot as part of development, and proposed a considered titration of presenting cases in an effort to justify treatment and appreciated the range and expected change in normal foot posture with growth. A decade later, the availability of normative pediatric foot posture data, and the prospective findings to confirm lessening flat feet with age, encourage a structured and considered approach to this frequent primary care presentation. The pragmatic concept of the “boomerang” is built on the research identifying pediatric flat feet likely to be symptomatic, thus requiring intervention, and filtering from those likely to remain asymptomatic. Differential diagnoses are advisedly considered, and gait remains the hallmark outcome. In this contemporary guide, an eight-step strategy has been developed to improve the approach to community pediatric flatfoot concerns. Furthermore, the three boomerang flat feet factors delineating symptomatic from asymptomatic flat feet, and applicable cutoff levels, are availed for practical reference and use. Given the recognized state of overdiagnosis and resulting unnecessary treatment that pervades the 21st century, it is timely for clear 20/20 vision for the presentation of pediatric flatfoot.
Relationship Between “Growing Pains” and Foot Posture in Children
Single-Case Experimental Designs in Clinical Practice
Many young children present to the podiatric physician with the complaint of aching legs. Many of these children are clinically assessed as having a pronated foot posture. This foot posture is thought to be deleterious and is often treated with in-shoe devices such as triplane wedges or orthoses. Intervention aiming to reduce the amount of foot pronation in both stance and gait has been reported by parents and children to reduce, and in many cases eliminate, the episodes of aching legs. To test this theory and establish a degree of causality, a single-case experimental design was used in conjunction with age-appropriate pain scores for the children and independent parental ratings. Single-case experimental design is a useful research tool for the clinical practice setting that can identify cause-effect relationships and obviates large sample sizes. Eight complete single-case experimental designs were performed in the clinical setting. The in-shoe intervention proved efficacious for children with a pronated foot posture and aching legs. These findings may provide the impetus for a more rigorous examination of the possible relationship between pronation and “growing pains.” (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(2): 111-117, 2003)
Background: The Feet for Walking clubfoot project from Australia formally introduced the Ponseti technique in Vietnam in 2004 and is based at the Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Centre in central Vietnam.
Methods: We provide an initial overview of the management of infant clubfoot deformity using the nonsurgical Ponseti method.
Results: Early indicators of the outcome of implementing this clubfoot project are largely positive but also require ongoing review. Further analyses of the use of the Ponseti method (or obstacles preventing the same) following training of personnel is underway.
Conclusions: Recent research has improved and refined the technique that must now be both appreciated and incorporated by clinicians. This technique is used across the world in both developed and developing countries and is universally regarded as the best management method for clubfoot deformities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 306–316, 2009)
Measurement of ankle dorsiflexion is a routine part of the podiatric examination of children, yet the reliability of this measure is largely unknown in healthy individuals. This study assessed the intrarater and interrater reliability of the first and second resistance levels of sagittal ankle range of motion in 4- to 6-year-old children. The results show that measures of ankle dorsiflexion in children are highly variable among examiners, and, in general, gastrocnemius range of motion is more reliable than soleal range of motion. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(5): 418–422, 2006)
Repeatable measures are essential for clinicians and researchers alike. Both need baseline measures that are reliable, as intervention effects cannot be accurately identified without consistent measures. The intrarater and interrater reliability of the new Foot Posture Index and current podiatric measures of foot position were assessed using a same-subject, repeated-measures study design across three age groups. The Foot Posture Index total score showed moderate reliability overall, demonstrating better reliability than most other current measures, although navicular height (normalized for foot length) was the single most reliable measure in adults. None of the tested measures exhibited adequate reliability in young children, and, with less-than-desirable reliability being demonstrated, most measures need to be interpreted accordingly when repeated measures are involved. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(3): 203-213, 2003)
The Foot Posture Index is a new multidimensional and multiplanar tool aimed at quantifying the degree of pronation to supination of the foot, comprising eight criteria that sum to produce a final “score” of foot posture. In an initial study involving 31 subjects, angulations measured from dorsoplantar and lateral radiographs were compared with the corresponding Foot Posture Index criteria using Spearman’s rho and the generalized linear model of analysis of variance. Eleven of the participants from Study 1 completed a second study in which wedges were used to alter foot position to determine whether changes to foot position were sensitively reflected in Foot Posture Index criterion scores and associated radiographic images. Study 1 demonstrated a significant correlation for only one criterion (talar head palpation), while Study 2 demonstrated intrasubject sensitivity to overall changes from supinated to pronated and supinated to resting positions but insensitivity to changes from resting to pronated positions. The results suggest that although the Foot Posture Index could be a useful tool to broadly classify foot postures, it is not sensitive to all small movements when assessed by this method. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(1): 31-38, 2004)