Springtime Foot Issues

Louis J. DeCaro, president of the
American College of Foot & Ankle Pediatrics appeared on NBC April 7 to give
tips on kids transitioning from winter to spring sports. Dr. DeCaro also talked
about how important it is to see your Podiatrist when parents notice any sort
of lower extremity pain including but not limited to hip, knee, ankle and foot
pain. Many orthopedic problems in kids, especially athletes, stem from poo foot
biomechanics. Looking at the child’s foot type and assessing its impact on
biomechanics is essential to injury prevention and overall performance. “ He
spoke about how this leads to important diagnoses of things such as flatfeet
and rotational abnormalities. 

According to podiatrist Louis J. DeCaro, DPM “Stretching is so important, even for kids, to
get ready for spring sports. Along with bodily growth where the muscles are
trying to keep up with the bones the cold weather can tighten muscles.
Spring sports aren’t always played in warm weather and
so stretching becomes absolutely key.” And finally Dr DeCaro says “
Like they say to change the batteries in your smoke detector during springtime
daylight savings, use that same time frame to inspect all the shoes kids will
be wearing as the weather gets nicer. Wear patterns of shoes can not only have
a deleterious affect on gait but also can often negative many
important biomechanics corrections if a child wears an orthotic.”

See the full
interview on Mass Appeal Here:
https://www.wwlp.com/massappeal/spring-is-prime-time-for-foot-problems/

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Building Your Podopediatrics Practice Through Screening Clinics

Pediatrics is one of podiatric medicine’s best kept secrets. From afar, observers could easily assume that tpodiatric medicine and surgery involves purely adult and geriatric care. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, the treatment of children and children’s foot problems should be a vital part of common podiatric practice. Besides the direct benefit to those children impacted by foot problems, from a practice standpoint, podopediatrics can be a valuable source of sustaining referrals in that once the care of children is entrusted to a podiatric physician, the care of other family members will most likely soon follow.

Your Foot Type is Inherited
Your Foot Type is Inherited

6 Reasons to Treat Kids in Your Practice:

  1. Genetics: Kids inherit their foot types
  2. Kids don’t always outgrow flat feet
  3. Preventing the long-term effects of aging on a neglected pronated foot
  4. Opportunity to grow your practice
  5. Kids are not just mini adults: They are more susceptible to injury
  6. Increased Emphasis On Sports = Increased Incidents of Injury

Clinic DayBenefits of a PodoPediatric Screening Clinic

Benefit 1: Efficiency and Marketing At The Same Time
A Children’s Clinic opens the door to treat many potential pediatric orthotic candidates in a single day.  Allows you ability to efficiently screen entire families.

Benefit 2: Build Referrals Through Education
The Children’s Clinic  offers opportunity to educate referring General Practitioners and Pediatricians on the benefits of early intervention. Perform community talks to educate parents, coaches and kids on why feet are important.

Benefit 3: Get Your Staff Involved
The Children’s Clinic  gets the whole staff involved, particularly the Podiatry Assistants who can effectively manage 90% of the program.

Benefit 4: Affordable Options
Neglect in managing kid’s foot conditions is often due to prohibitive costs.  Not all kids need custom devices. Prefabricated kids foot orthotics and/or bracing often offer affordable, yet effective, treatment solutions.

Implementing a PodoPediatric Screening Clinic

Step 1: Pre-planning

  • Meet With Your Entire Staff Ahead Of Time And Plan Well In Advance.  Allow At Least 4-6 Weeks For Proper Promotion.
  • Include Late Appointment Hours After 5pm For Working Parents, Or Consider A Saturday.
  • Be Sure Ample Staffing Is Available To Call On If Needed.
  • Have Enough Prefabs In Various Sizes In Stock To Dispense During The Clinic (orthotics, braces and splints).
  • Set Up A Registration Process For Call In Appointments Or Register On-line.
  • Try And Make Appointments, But Accept Walk-ins

Step 2: Advertising & Notification

  • Notify the public of the event.  TELL EVERYONE! Don’t assume just because you are running a clinic, parents will find out on their own and show up!
  • Emphasize “FREE” foot exam for kids.  Keep notifications brief.
  • News paper or radio ads can be very effective and affordable.
  • Don’t forget to post the clinic on your website! Set up a registration page.

Step 3: Get Ancillary Care Providers Involved

  • Pediatricians
  • Chiropractors
  • General Practitioners
  • Physical Therapists
  • Orthopedists
  • Early Intervention Therapists
  • Pediatric Shoe Stores

Step 4: Educate Staff on their Roles

  • Pre-Planning
  • Creating a Kid Friendly Environment
  • Preparing Announcements  & Notifications
  • Booking Appointments
  • Talking up the Clinic to Existing Patients
  • Handout Flyers at Checkout
  • Managing Prefab Inventory
  • Processing Custom Orders
  • Posting Flyers Around Town
  • Assisting in Website Updates
  • Teach Them to Foot Type (PA Webinar)
  • Keep Adequate Supply of Patient Literature On Hand
  • Fax Blast Referring Providers
  • Send Out Post Card Announcements to Patients and Their Families
  • Keep Kids Occupied While You Are Discussing RX Options With Parents

Have a kid friendly waiting area
Have a kid friendly waiting area

Step 5: On Clinic Day

  • Introduce yourself to both the parents and the child.
  • Ask what concerns the child and the parents have, and what brought them to the clinic
  • Ask if the child has had any previous treatment
  • Inquire about family history for foot related conditions or symptoms and LLD’s
  • Briefly explain the purpose of the foot screening (Is the child’s foot structure and gait within normal parameters for their age)
  • Look at them standing barefoot, check heel valgus alignment and arch height
  • Allow the child to move around, engage in normal activities and play and notice their balance, ability to maneuver / coordination, etc
  • Watch and analyze gait
  • Determine their functional foot type if child is a teen

Step 6: Decide on Treatment Options

Podiatric Measures

  • Bracing for Structural Deformities
  • Custom Foot Orthotics For More Pathological or Extreme Cases
  • Prefabricated Foot Orthotics to Promote Proper Posture,  Injury Prevention, or Less severe Symptomatic Cases
  • Gait Plates
  • Night Splints

Outside Referrals for Treatment

  • ROM
  • Strengthening – Core and Limbs
  • Balance Training
  • Coordination & Agility
  • Proper Shoe Wear

Step 7: Follow Up

  • Be sure to contact each parent attendee within a week following clinic, by phone or email.
  • Get opinions to help improve the next clinic…. would they attend again, what day/time of day would have been better, etc.?
  • Start building parent database for the future. You may want to schedule a Children’s Clinic on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and if you save contact information on an ongoing basis, your email and mailing database will become an effective promotional tool.
  • Remember, children who start using orthotics early will return for next sizes several times, and will eventually become part of your adult patient base.

So if you have not been treating kids….WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

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NEW LIVE COURSE – Take the Mystery out of Gait: 4 Simple Steps to Becoming an Expert

SIGN UP NOW

Instructor: Roberta Nole, MA, PT, C.Ped
Hosted by Ronai PT & Sports Medicine, LLC
400 Boston Post Rd., Orange CT

Course Date: December 11, 2021
8 am – 5:15 pm

1 Day Course – 7.5 Contact Hours
Pre-Approval Pending by ABC CTAPTA
Cost: $250

Join us for an ALL NEW Course in Orange CT. This course will be a live program utilizing lecture and lab with plenty of demonstration and hands-on practice. This one-day program examines pathological gait conditions, resulting from the occurrence of rearfoot varus deformities, forefoot varus and forefoot valgus deformities, as well as their combined effects.

Students will learn:

  • Foot Biomechanics Review presented in a way that is simple easy to understand
  • Rearfoot Deformities: Compensated vs Uncompensated and what that really means
  • Forefoot Deformities: Varus and Valgus
  • Simple Video Gait analysis
  • Clinical Conditions by Foot Type
  • Orthotic Selection Process and Prescription
  • A Review of Individual Case Studies

Who Should Attend

DPMs, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Orthotists, and C.Peds

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