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Orthopedic Handicaps / Locomotors Disability


Locomotors Disability means disability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.


These conditions are the obvious types & are identified early. Their prevention and treatment is primarily a medical problem.


1) Congenital - disabilities present in a child from birth. e.g. Spina Bifida, club feet, dislocated joints etc.
They are subdivided into:

  • Hereditary -conditions which are passed from parents to a child.
  • Developmental - embryological defects in the foetus.
  • Birth Period - abnormalities which occur in prenatal (before birth) or perinatal period (during birth)

  • 2) Acquired - disabilities which develop later in the child who is born normal.

  • They are subdivided into: Accident /Injury Diseases / infection like Poliomyelitis.
  • Cerebral Palsy - is due to injury or lack of development of the brain which results in motor disability.
  • Poliomyelitis - This condition is due to a virus which attacks the spinal cord of the infant making him paralysed.
  • Spina Bifida - Condition in which nerves protrude due to non-closure of spine. It affects the lower part of the vertebral column. Accidents such as fractures, burns, amputations are also included in this category.

  • Treatment Management

    Medical Treatment

    In orthopedically handicapped children, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are the most important forms of treatment. This treatment strives to make them independent.


    The mobility of a child with orthopaedic disability can be greatly improved by using various aids, appliances and equipment’s.

    • Aid is a small, easily handled, portable object which improves function e.g. cane or a walking stick.
    • Appliance is a purpose built or custom made object e.g. shoes, artificial limb and so on.
    • Equipment is a non-portable aid e.g.special playroom furniture or any fitment made to suit the need of a child.

    It is very important to maintain aids, appliances &equipment’s in perfect condition. There is a wide range of mobility aids to facilitate the child. There are also crutches, callipers, wheel chairs, walking frames & sticks available. In recent times, technology has made great strides and a variety of products are available in the market.

    Emotional management

    The child has physical limitations. He has normal hopes & aspirations like any normal child of his age. So he may require help in setting realistic goals which are within his physical abilities. He may also need support to deal with frustrations, lack of motivation, unhappiness and so on. If his goals are not met, he may react negatively by becoming aggressive, withdraw into a shell, blame others.He will need guidance in these areas and require help in planninghis life realistically.

    Tips to Parents

    Keep your home clutter free for easy movements of the child. It is advisable to have residence on lower floors for easy accessibility.