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Our terminology

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects posture, movement and coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain before, during or after birth. Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease; however, the effects have been known to change over time. Children with cerebral palsy often have an irregular posture; their bodies may be either very floppy or very stiff, and this may lead to deformities of the spine or lower limbs over time.

Gait abnormalities

Gait abnormailities typically result from affections of nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Abnormal gait may be caused by a variety of conditions, the commonest of which is CP, but may also include hip dysplasia, arthritis, anatomical abnormalities, pain and neurological conditions.

Developmental dysplasia of the hip

Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) describes a variety of conditions in which the ball and socket of the hip do not develop properly. In the mildest forms, the socket may fail to grow deep enough. In the more severe forms, the femoral head or ball may be displaced completely out of the socket and be dislocated. In the past this was known as a congenital dislocated hip (CDH). Some babies may grow out of a mild instability without treatment, but at the moment there is no way to tell which hips will come right on their own. So all babies who have been diagnosed as having a hip problem will be closely monitored. Treatment ranges from using a Pavlik Harness (if diagnosed early), to an examination under anaesthetic (with application of a hip spica plaster cast) or a more extensive operation to put the ball and socket in place.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is an age dependent condition of the hip joint, where a loss of bone mass leads to some degree of collapse of the hip joint, which may cause a deformity of the ball of the femur and the surface of the hip socket. It is caused by an interruption to the blood supply of the head of the femur close to the hip joint. It is equivalent to adult avascular necrosis. The goal of treatment is to avoid degenerative arthritis.

SUFE (Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis)

SUFE (Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis)Is a condition involving the upper end of the femur (thigh bone), where the epiphyseal plate (growth plate) is weakened and the head of the femur (ball) is slipped downward and backward. As the hip joint functions as a ball and socket, movement of the hip may be affected. The exact cause of this condition is not known, although there may be a link between increased weight and the hormones associated with puberty. Early diagnosis is important to prevent delay in treatment and worsening of the slip.

Skeletal dysplasia

Skeletal dysplasiasis a general term that refers to abnormal bone and cartilage development. There are over 200 different kinds of skeletal dysplasias, with a wide range of symptoms. The four most common skeletal dysplasias are achondrogenesis, achondroplasia (aka dwarfism - one of the most common forms of non-lethal skeletal dysplasia), osteogenesis imperfecta, and thanatophoric dysplasia.

Metatarsus adductus

Metatarsus adductusis a common foot deformity that causes the front half of the foot, or forefoot, to turn inward. May also be referred to as "flexible" (the foot can be straightened to a degree by hand) or 'non-flexible' (the foot cannot be straightened by hand). The goal of treatment is to straighten the position of the forefoot and heel. Treatment options vary for infants, and may include observation, stretching/manipulation of the foot, casts and surgery.

Juvenile Hallux Valgus

Hallux valgus is an abnormally positioned big toe, in which the joint at the base of the toe bulges outward from the inner side of the foot and the big toe points inward (toward the smaller toes). People commonly come to hospital because of pain, or because they are unhappy with the way their foot/feet looks. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for this condition, but it is often delayed until skeletal maturity if possible, as this decreases the chance of the deformity recurring post operatively.

Radio-Ulnar Synostosis

Radio-Ulnar Synostosisis a term used to describe a bony or soft tissue connection between the radius and ulna, the two bones of the forearm. This abnormal connection may be congenital or may occur following fracture or other trauma to the forearm. The diagnosis is often made late in childhood or adolescence, as pain is rarely a complaint and much of elbow flexion/extension is preserved. Treatment recommendations are made based upon the degree of functional loss associated with loss of forearm rotation. Treatment ranges from surveillance of the condition to surgery.

Tarsal coalitions

Tarsal coalitionis an abnormal connection that develops between two bones in the back of the foot (the tarsal bones). This abnormal connection-which can be composed of bone, cartilage, or fibrous tissue-may lead to limited motion and pain in one or both feet. Symptoms generally do not appear until the bones begin to mature-usually around ages 9-16, but can range from pain to stiffness in the foot/feet. A tarsal coalition is difficult to identify until a child's bones begin to mature, additional diagnostic imaging tests (such as a CT scan or MRI) may also be needed. Treatment varies from analgesia, physiotherapy, steroid injections to surgery.

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