Kids podiatry is a different world to “grown up” podiatry.
10 years ago, when Jason and I discussed the need for an exclusively kid’s podiatry clinic, we had for some years been working in a ‘general’ private practice…. Seeing the likes of corns, calluses, ingrown toe nails, diabetic ulcers…. You name it… we saw it. However Jason’s paediatric patient base was growing exponentially, and we quickly realised that the little box of dusty kids toys in the corner just didn’t cut it! We knew that if we were to do this properly, that the kids needed to feel “at home” visiting us. As parents we understand how different kids are… and whilst a colouring-in pad may be more than enough to keep one child still for an hour, for others, it simply isn’t! Some kids need constant distractions. Some need to burn their energy and be able to jump around without judgement or concern. Some need “quieter” spaces where they feel “safe” in their environment. And so, Little Big Feet was born.
And after close to a decade of fabulous, kid-friendly years at Kenmore, we realised the need to change again. The space could be better. Much better. Technology is advancing and so much our clinical analysis tools. Kids are growing up, and so must our space. Living expenses are creeping up daily… and parental concerns over costs are aligning with it. We knew we could address many of these factors. We knew we were capable of creating a better space, with some more cost-effective shoe offerings, better analysis equipment, more flexible hours to suit the busy family… the list goes on.
And this is what we’ve created in Corinda. We’ve listened to the families, and hopefully provided a few answers. You see, kids’ feet are always growing, and so their treatment often isn’t as simple as one pair of orthotics for the next 10 years. Kids need to be constantly reviewed and re-assessed, because things can change quickly. For some, this means a whole lot of expense. But I’m here to reassure you that this isn’t always the case. Often a change in your child’s feet means they no longer require any treatment! Orthotics, splints and shoe padding for children should rarely be seen as the end-product. In most cases it should be viewed as a “for now” treatment until they’re next assessed. Many kids’ conditions we see are growth-related, and as such, they only require treatment for a short period of time. This is another reason why we will always discuss with parents, cost-effective treatment options, because in many cases simple in-shoe padding adjustments may be all that is required. At Little Big Feet we do all this on-site. We assess, diagnose, prescribe and create our padding (or orthoses) on-site. There’s heaps of advantages to this. Not only can your child’s orthotics or padding be produced in a short turn around, the Podiatrist also has complete control over the prescription and can offer modifications along the way, because in some instances, modifications to the padding or orthotics is all that’s needed - in other words – you can often get away without having to fork out for a new pair of $400 orthotics!
All in all, every Podiatrist will have their own way of doing things. But it’s important for us to be able to justify why and how we do things at Little Big Feet. Having a designated paediatric podiatry clinic has enabled us to create an environment which we think brings out the best in the kids and allows us to do our job to our best ability and provide the best clinical outcomes. After all, it’s one thing to treat a diabetic foot ulcer, and another to treat a child with in-toeing. At LBF we’d like to think we know a lot about kids feet and we do it well!