Adult podiatric pathologies may influence pediatric treatment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The most common adult podiatric pathologies can often be genetically transferred to patient’s offspring. In these scenarios, if the issue is identified and treated early enough, a child can potentially reduce the risk of development in the future. Louis DeCaro, DPM, vice president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics and member of the surgical staff at Franklin Medical Center and Holyoke Hospital, Mass., discussed how to identify signs of adult podiatric pathologies in the pediatric populations at the Pedorthic Footcare Association Annual Symposium and Exhibition, here.

“My mission as a podopediatric podiatrist is to avoid the adult patient by treating the child,” DeCaro said.

He emphasized that podiatric issues in children can be identified by examining the patient’s genetics.

“The way we walk is genetics; it runs in families,” DeCaro said. “People don’t get surgical issues later in life because they wore bad shoes, necessarily. It might expedite any issues, but it’s all genetics.”

According to DeCaro, there are 10 main pathologies in the adult population that can predict potential issues as children mature in adulthood. These pathologies are calluses, plantar fasciitis, knee replacements, hip replacements, neuromas, bunions, posterior tibial dysfunction, tarsal tunnel syndrome, hammertoes and lower back pain.

If any of these pathologies are present in an adult, DeCaro encourages podiatrists to examine patients’ children for any potential signs and take the necessary precautions to mitigate the risk for development. And according to DeCaro, this is an excellent way for podiatrists to grow their patient population.

“The best way to grow pediatrics wherever you are is to use genetics in your favor,” DeCaro said. “Use your adult patients that you are treating and educating who already trust you and ask them about their kids. With a few simple principles, you will know how to see those kids and effectively treat them.”

For more information:

DeCaro, L. The top ten adult podiatric pathologies and what they look like in the podopediatric patient. Presented at the Pedorthic Footcare Association Annual Symposium 2012. Nov. 1-3, Little Rock, Ark.

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