Trip to the Podiatrist

My mom was the first one to point out that Max had a funny gait. Back then I dismissed it as nothing since I thought he was still finding his balance. But recently we have noticed that his left leg would turn in pretty obviously when he walked and he was always tripping over his own feet.

So I made an appointment with the podiatrist and off we went. I was more concern that the problem could stem from his hips, which we could and should correct while he is still young.

I was so proud of myself for driving the two of us down to Rochester Park where the clinic was located, AND successfully parking the car in the tiny parking lot.

The podiatrist was very friendly and fantastic with Max. First he asked both of us to take off our shoes and immediately he said ” Max’s feet are exactly like yours” which isn’t a good thing cos I have UGLY feet with low arches. We saw that when Max stood still, his left foot did turn in and his toes were all sort of crumpled together. Then he got both of us to walk up and down the room, we made it into a little game for Max and he was more than happy to play along. Once that was done he examined his hips, knees and legs.

The results are hardly surprising, Max is indeed bow legged but only his left leg. The problem doesn’t stem from his hip, in fact he has very good movement in the hip area which is great. His knees are fine but the lower leg where the calf is, is bowed. His foot is straight so that’s another piece of good news. Since Matt is flat footed and I have low arches, Max is destined to follow either of us. There is nothing we can do for his leg now, we just have to wait and see how and if it changes as he grows. I checked with the podiatrist regarding his shoes and he says anything that is soft and flexible is fine for his age group. He always reminded me that if a child is flat footed, no amount of artificial arches in their shoes are going to create an arch for them. It’s predetermined by their genes. I really appreciated his patience and thorough explanations. He answered all my questions and never once made me feel like I was asking silly questions. I left feeling reassured and with a follow up appointment in a year’s time.

If you have a toddler and think that they might be bow legged, rest assure that bowed legs in toddlers are very common. By ages 3 or 4, the bowing should have diminished and their legs should have a straighter appearance. The main reason I took Max in was because we noticed only one of his legs was bowed. If it were both, I wouldn’t have been as worried. His right leg is perfectly straight while is left isn’t. Whenever you feel in doubt, consult your pediatrician to see if he/she thinks you should bring your child to a specialist.

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