By Dr. Ritesh Pandey, Orthopaedics
Limb Deformities of the legs, which include bow legs and knock knees are among the most frequent causes for people’s frequent visits to the paediatric orthopaedist. In maximum instances, the alignment of the legs tends to get corrected naturally.
Skeletal limb deformities refer to problems in the bone structure of one’s arms or legs. They can affect a particular part of one's limb or the entire limb. Usually, these kinds of problems are present at birth and sometimes babies take birth with abnormalities in more than one limb. There are certain diseases or injuries, which can disturb the normal growth of a person’s bone structure and lead to skeletal abnormalities as well.
Kinds of Skeletal Limb Abnormalities
There are two kinds of skeletal limb abnormalities: Congenital abnormalities and Acquired abnormalities.
Congenital skeletal abnormalities are present at the time when people take birth.
The conditions include:
- He or she might have more fingers or toes than normal.
- People may well be missing out on an entire arm or leg
- They might miss a particular portion of one of their limbs.
Acquired abnormalities are the kinds of deformities that occur after birth. Such conditions occur if people were born with normal limbs but went on to experience a bone fracture during childhood.
As of now, the causes of congenital skeletal limb abnormalities are not completely understood. Some of the risk factors include:
- Exposure to virus, medications or chemicals before birth
- Use of tobacco by the mother during pregnancy
- Other problems like heart defects or gastroschisis.
Acquired limb abnormalities usually occur out of injury suffered in childhood. Some of the injuries result in a slow growth of bones. They can also occur out of a number of diseases, which include:
- Rickets or deficiency of Vitamin D
- Connective tissue disorder like the Marfan syndrome.
- Down syndrome, which is a genetic disorder having an extra chromosome.
Tips on Managing Limb Deformity
Deformities of limbs can have an adverse effect on the minds of all those people, who get affected. The following are some tips, which can help people manage their problems:
- People can get a prosthetic limb, which will function in place of the normal limb.
- They can even make use of orthotic brace or splint as a support for the affected limb.
- Doing certain occupational therapies or physical therapies to exercise and strengthen one’s affected limb can be extremely effective in curing these problems.
- It is important for people to detect their problems regarding limb abnormalities early and go ahead with the right kind of treatment.
- Pregnant women can take a prenatal vitamin, containing folic acid to minimize the scope for limb abnormalities in their babies.
- Women, during their pregnancy, should avoid their use of tobacco and alcohol.