Does My Child Need Orthotics?

While we can definitely help with kids orthotics at our Redlands podiatry clinic, the fact is that flat feet are relatively normal in young children.

And yet when parents bring their child to our podiatry clinic, it is often due to concerns about flat feet and whether orthotics are needed. So I would like to set parents’ minds at ease – it is usually not until your child is five or six that orthotics may be considered.

Most babies appear to have flat feet, and it is only when the child starts to walk that their arch begins to develop. Even after that, the soles of a child’s feet may look flat, but this does not necessarily indicate a problem.

does my child need orthotics

Is it a Case of Flat Foot or Excess Pronation?

The term “flat foot” is a fairly broad term covering a number of foot alignment issues.

True flat foot is a condition where the longitudinal arch of the foot has not yet developed normally; however excess pronation can also make your child’s foot look flat, and cause parents to worry.

“Pronation” describes the natural inward rolling movement of the foot and ankle when they are in motion (eg walking, running). At times it can roll in excessively – and so you might hear it called excess pronation. As the child walks or runs, excess pronation causes:

  • the arch of the foot to flatten;
  • the fore foot to splay outwards;
  • and the ankle to pull upwards.

In a true case of flat foot there is no change in the arch contour (ie it remains flat), regardless of whether the child is standing or sitting.

A pronated foot on the other hand, will seem flat when the child is standing, but there is a fully developed arch profile when the child is seated.

Excess pronation is quite common in children from birth up to about age eight or nine, and is not usually painful. (Important note: if your young child is complaining of aching legs, that they can’t sleep due to leg pain, or have been pleading for you to rub their legs to give them some relief, this merits further investigation for hidden pathologies.)

It happens because bone grows faster than soft tissue, creating a (temporary) muscular imbalance. The child’s foot subsequently pronates to compensate; in some children, it might result in knock knees or bow legs for a time.

There are other factors which may contribute to a change in the arch of the child’s foot – such as limb length discrepancies, or curvature of the lower back.

When are Kids Orthotics Likely to be Needed?

By the age of five or six, your child’s foot bones have positioned themselves, and all they have to do is grow and get bigger.

At this stage if the arch does not appear to be developing, it’s worth visiting your local podiatry clinic to find out if orthotics may be of benefit. Before making a diagnosis we will likely send your child for x-ray and/or ultrasound, to make sure there’s no congenital abnormalities (eg bony fusions, ligament or tendon damage, non-development of particular structures).

kids orthotics

In a true case of flat foot, there is no arch – so there is no point in using an orthotic to support an arch that does not exist. In this case, it would simply hurt the patient.

We find that in the majority of cases, children visiting our podiatry clinic are presenting with excess pronation. Treatment for this condition may include advice on footwear choices, exercises, or possibly orthotics.

What sort of Orthotics?

Should your child need insoles or orthotics, there are two types to consider: off the shelf, or customised.

Off the shelf are cheaper, but provide only a certain degree of correction. If there is a marked deformity, a podiatrist will have no choice but to prescribe custom orthotics, because one foot is functioning quite differently to the other.

You can find out more about the different types of orthotics and what is involved, in this post.

If you live in the Redlands, Trevor Lane Podiatry is your local family podiatry centre – so if you have any concerns about whether your child needs orthotics, you can book an appointment now using our secure online booking system.

Coronavirus Measures at Trevor Lane Podiatry

We hope that you and your family are staying well through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation is changing so rapidly that we have created this webpage to keep you updated on the latest arrangements at our clinic to contain the spread of coronavirus.

At this stage, Trevor Lane Podiatry remains OPEN, however with some new measures in place.

The health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance, so below we have outlined the changes we have implemented.

coronavirus measures

Disinfecting

Although we have always been vigilant when it comes to handwashing and hygiene, we have stepped up our activities to include:

  • wiping down of the waiting room chairs, treatment benches, reception counter and front door handle after each patient.
  • If you are member of a private health fund, we ask your permission to lodge the Hicaps claim on your behalf.
  • We encourage our patients to use tap to pay. If a PIN is required, we wipe the terminal after each use.

Social Distancing

To comply with social distancing regulations, we are aiming to have only one visitor in our clinic at any one time.

Only the patient is to enter the premises (minors may be accompanied by one parent/carer). We ask that other family members or carers please wait outside or in the car. If the patient needs assistance to leave the clinic, we will let you know when they are ready to leave.

Bookings and Appointments

When you phone for an appointment: You will be advised about our new social distancing rules, and asked a few questions such as:

  • have you recently travelled overseas;
  • are you displaying any cold or flu like symptoms.

If the information you provide indicates that your visit may place others at risk, please do not be offended if we cannot proceed with the booking.

When you book online: A staff member will call you to ask the same questions. Depending on your responses, your booking may be postponed for at least 14 days.

When You Arrive

Upon arriving at our practice, you will notice a few things immediately such as:

  • Posters and other public health information to raise awareness of the importance of hand washing etc to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Most chairs removed from the waiting room, with a couple added out on the balcony to comply with social distancing regulations.
  • We have also removed the bell and pens from the front counter.

Please Respect our Schedule

We ask for your assistance and understanding particularly with regards to keeping to scheduled appointment times.

If you are late for your appointment, we will ask you to reschedule as there will not be sufficient time to treat you and ensure thorough cleaning takes place before the next patient arrives.

While many of our patients visit so frequently they feel like friends, we regret that we are unable to enjoy social chats at this time. If you do have any other concerns, we will help you to make another appointment.

Rules for Staff

Please be assured that:

  • All our staff practise social distancing in their time away from work as much as they can.
  • When a staff member feels unwell they are not allowed to come to work. This also applies if one of their family members at home has flu like symptoms – we ask that they not return to work until they have consulted their doctor to rule out COVID-19.

We do apologise for any inconvenience, but want you to know that we are taking this threat to our community’s health and safety extremely seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation and update our procedures and this webpage as required.

Trevor Lane, 26 March 2020.

Is Podiatry Covered by Medicare?

People are often surprised to learn that a bulk billed podiatrist is the exception rather than the rule here in Australia.

This is for a number of reasons.

When Does a Medicare Rebate Apply?

Podiatry is an allied health service, which means that in the majority of cases a Medicare rebate – and therefore bulk billing – won’t apply.

The exception is for patients with a chronic health condition and complex care needs, for example:

  • a diabetic experiencing problems with ulcers on their lower legs; or,
  • a person with severe arthritis, unable to take proper care of their feet.

In cases like these, a referral from your medical practitioner is essential to access a Medicare rebate for your podiatry treatment. Medicare contributes to a maximum of five allied health services (not just podiatry) per calendar year, which could be quickly used up if you have a condition such as diabetes which may require sessions with a dietitian, a diabetes educator and a psychologist, as well as a podiatrist.

is podiatry covered by medicare

As you can imagine, there is a lot of administration work associated with these types of referrals, including your podiatrist being required to write a report for your GP.

This is why many podiatry clinics are unable to offer bulk billing in these cases. However the Medicare rebate does make it much more affordable.

A lot of GPs don’t fully understand how the Medicare rebate works for podiatry, and in particular, that bulk billing rarely applies – so when we receive a referral from your GP, we make every effort to contact you to explain the process and the small gap fee required.

Your Local Foot Care Professional

While we don’t have any bulk billed podiatrists at Trevor Lane Podiatry, we take care of our clients in other ways with:

  • a concession rate for patients that provide us with their pension, health care, or seniors card;
  • HICAPS for those in participating health funds, for on-the-spot claims processing;
  • the convenience of a secure online booking system;
  • modern equipment to provide superior diagnosis and treatment, such as digital gait analysis;
  • professional fitting and a range of shoes suitable for wearing with orthotics;
  • and we are particularly proud to be the only podiatry clinic in the Redlands offering Foot Mobilisation Therapy.

All of this in addition to our friendly, professional podiatry services for all the family.

So unless you have a chronic health condition with complex care needs, you can avoid the hassle of seeing your GP for a referral and make an appointment with Trevor Lane Podiatry today – your local foot care professional in the Redlands, for over 20 years.

For more information on podiatry and Medicare rebates you can visit the relevant page on the Australian government website; or find out about concessions, DVA, WorkCover, fees and referrals on our FAQ page.

Meet our Redlands Podiatrists

We might be slightly biased, but we reckon we have two of the best podiatrists in the Redlands at our clinic!

This month, we thought we’d spill the beans so you can find out what they get up to when they’re not providing expert foot care.

Principal Podiatrist Trevor Lane

Redlands podiatrist Trevor Lane has a special interest in sports podiatry

Having worked as a Redlands podiatrist for over 20 years, Trevor’s areas of special interest include sports podiatry, and the correlation between the feet, legs and lower back.

He is particularly passionate about the science of biomechanics, and helping athletes to understand it as well, so that they can perform better in their chosen sport.

Trevor loves outdoor pursuits like camping, fishing, skiing, hiking, and surfing, and has participated in local team sports such as touch football and indoor soccer.

Redlands podiatrist Trevor Lane at the snow

When not on an outdoor adventure, our principal podiatrist loves spending time with his family – cooking up a storm in the kitchen or on the BBQ, relaxing outside in the garden, walking the dog, or riding his bike.

Nina Hunter

Our designer extraordinare, Nina has a passion for fashion, and an eye for detail.

female podiatrist Redlands Nina Hunter

Even though she’s a true people person, she can’t help but show off her love for animals – and she’s a foodie at heart.

Nina chose podiatry over a life in nursing and has never looked back.

Her colleagues at our Redlands podiatry clinic will tell you that Nina is friendly no matter what, and is never grumpy. And even if she was, she wouldn’t show it! She always has a happy face, and is in good spirits.

She is a good listener and always has great suggestions to make things better around the clinic.

Nina is partial to iced chocolate drinks, or in fact anything chocolate – and goes to the gym regularly to keep fit – maybe to compensate for her chocolate indulgences!

In her spare time, Nina loves spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, watching comedy and drama movies, and losing herself in a good book.

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know our foot care team a little better – and remember, you can now book a Redlands podiatrist online, or call us today on 3207 4736.