Podopaediatrics is the study of children’s feet and legs. When babies first grace us with their presence, their legs are largely turned out and they appear to be bow–legged, with their feet curved in a banana shape. As these children mature and reach their developmental milestones, their legs and feet twist and turn out into a more normal shape. Some examples of normal developmental variances are in-toes and out-toes, knock knees and bowed legs, crawling and walking. These variations are considered normal only if the developing child reaches and leaves each milestone at the correct time and in the correct order.
If structural abnormalities are recognised at an early enough age, they may be grown or manipulated out using treatments such as serial casting.
Even children develop overuse syndromes, which are commonly called growing pains, and often complain of achy or tired legs. Complaints typically occur at night and do not necessarily follow a particularly long day or strenuous activity.
Children may also suffer specific growing pains in the heels and knees. These pains are typical amongst the more athletic, during growth spurts or in those children whose growth plates are stressed, as well as in children who appear to be uncoordinated (i.e. children who are hypermobile) and in some cases have funny running styles.