What is Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that produces a number of both mental and physical characteristics and differences, all of which can vary from mild to severe. Down syndrome is the result of an extra chromosome; chromosome 21. It is this extra copy of chromosome 21 that affects the normal development of a child with Down syndrome, and that produces all the characteristic features associated with the condition.
Many children with Down syndrome have problems with their feet and may benefit from podiatry.
What causes Down syndrome?
A child will usually have 46 chromosomes altogether, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. A child with Down syndrome has 47 chromosomes due to an extra copy of chromosome 21. The leading factor for Down syndrome in a child is the mother's age at conception. The risk of having a child with Down syndrome increases at age 35, increasing further by age 40 and above.
Feet and Down syndrome
Many children with Down syndrome have problems with the way that they walk and their feet, leading to orthopedic problems. These problems are associated with low muscle tone and loose ligaments, both of which are characteristic features of those with Down syndrome. Common foot and lower limb problems associated with Down syndrome include:
- Flat Feet
- Tip Toe Walking
- Smaller legs, feet, toes
- Very flexible (loose ligaments and low tone)
- Limited ankle movement
- Out pointed feet and toes due to an increase in external rotation of the hip
These lower limb problems can produce a number of painful symptoms and pathologies, all of which should be treated by a podiatrist.
What should I do if my child has Down syndrome and is experiencing a lower limb problem?
If your child has Down syndrome and you are concerned about the way they walk, or your child is experiencing any pain or problems with the lower limb and foot, visit one of our podiatrists here at Manchester Podiatry. Our podiatrists are highly skilled in the treatment and diagnosis of a number of lower limb pathologies. Our podiatrists are available to give you advice, treatment, or to simply put your mind at rest.