Background

11-year-old Daniel came to myPodiatry Health with his mother for a comprehensive gait analysis after she noticed he had an abnormal walking gait. Daniel has Down Syndrome and she was hopeful we could help him become more involved in sports and lead a more active lifestyle.

Initial Consultation

Our initial consultation with Daniel was quite comprehensive and included:

  • Biomechanical gait analysis via visual assessment
  • Hands-on approach to determine range of motion of necessary joints and assessment of any pain
  • Comprehensive analysis of current footwear and recommendation of ideal footwear
  • X-ray referral for both feet

What we found

  • Through static and dynamic testing, it was revealed that Daniel has a left foot drop and that his right foot swings outward. He also hits the floor quite hard.
  • Visual inspection of the feet also revealed some minor callus/blistering on the inside of his big toes.
  • The x-rays revealed no fractures or major deformities. The joint spaces looked fine.
  • Daniel’s older shoes were worn out in the heel and forefoot and had lost their arch support.

The Biomechanical Assessment

  • Due to his condition and muscle hypotonia, Daniel walks with his feet out and knees closer together. This awkward outward rotational twist has caused the foot to collapse, a condition which is exacerbated by Daniel’s foot posture and natural flat-footed arch.
  • The callus on the inside of his big toe is due to the over-pronation of the forefoot as Daniel’s toes leave the ground during gait.

myPodiatry Health Treatment

  • As Daniel’s older shoes had lost arch support and structural integrity, they were contributing to his undesirable gait pattern. We gave him and his mother a footwear recommendation – and a discount – to purchase new Ascent footwear.
  • The next step was to further improve foot posture and stabilize gait control. Daniel’s feet were traced to have custom Joey style orthotics made for him to put inside his new shoes. These orthotics provided the support and control Daniel needed to become more physically active.
  • Daniel was also given special exercises and stretches to improve muscle strength in his legs.

The Outcome

After two weeks, we reviewed Daniel to see how his new shoes and orthotics were performing. His mother reported that there was major improvement in how he was walking, running, and enjoying sports.