Friday, August 27, 2010

Podiatry and Down syndrome

Today I took Olivia to meet a high school friend of mine. We had an appointment. He is a podiatrist! Since Olivia is doing some less supported standing, I am getting a chance to really look at her feet and ankles in action. I did not feel comfortable with what I was seeing in her right foot, and also wondered if I was seeing a small bit of it in her left also. My parents believed in taking kids to podiatrists and using good shoes, so I grew up seeing a "foot doctor" until my feet were well established in a good direction. Because bones in children are still growing and have not ossified (hardened) they are somewhat moldable. If there is a problem such as flat feet or pronation, childhood is the time to correct it! The feet are the foundation for the body! To give your child good foot care is to give them a good foundation and prevent them from dealing with so many problems as an adult that could have been avoided had they received good medical care as a child. When we were hoping to adopt Jacob,who was already school age, we realized that many of his problems could have been avoided had he had good parenting. Now with being given the opportunity to raise a child from week two (NICU was the parent before then since we were foster parents at the time) we have the responsibility to do the best we can to prevent any problems that are preventable. A daunting task sometimes. May our Good Lord help us!

The doctor examined Olivia's feet, then took x-rays. He said I was insightful, as the x-rays showed exactly what I saw. Where there should be no angle, the right foot had a 18 degree angle and the left foot a 10 degree angle. There is pronation and flat footedness. In addition there are some tight muscles in one ankle.

So he showed me some more exercises to add to our day, and gave me a list of requirements for her shoes. Prior to this point, she had been shoeless, since she was not standing. But now with standing, she needs shoes with good support, since she has foot issues.

Having foot issues is very common in people with Down syndrome. Flat footedness, joint issues, low muscle tone, fungal issues in kids with compromised immune systems.

This weekend will include a trip to Stride-rite, with our list of requirements in hand. I will have to post a photo of Olivia in her new sensible shoes. Daddy says that he will still buy her cute shoes for special occasions. What a sweet Dad! Girls have to have cute shoes that match their outfit sometimes!

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