Intoeing in Children
Normally, most people will walk with their toes and feet pointing straight ahead. However, sometimes children’s feet turn when they walk, which can be called intoeing or being pigeon-toed. Your child may walk with their feet pointing in, but most cases can be corrected on their own as the child grows up, which most adults don't deal with intoeing.
Your podiatrist is available to properly diagnose your child’s feet and provide proper treatment plans when needed. There are three common causes of intoeing:
- Tibial torsion – the shinbone is the most commonly twisted bone. This twist can be caused by the way the baby lay in the womb while the bones are still soft.
- Femoral anteversion – the thighbone can also be twisted inwards, but is usually corrected over time, slowly.
- Metatarsus adductus – the feet are curved inwards and typically get better without treatment, but for some children who have very curved feet, some bracing may help in the first couple of years of life.
According to your podiatrist, children who have intoeing tend to trip a little more at first, but will be fine later on. Children with intoeing will also be just as good at sports and are no more likely to get arthritis or back problems than anyone else.
Intoeing should not get worse and your child should be able to participate in all types of physical activities. If you think your child’s intoeing is getting worse, visit your podiatrist. It is important to remember:
- Most children do not require treatment and self-correct over time.
- Special shoes and braces are not usually needed and are only recommended in rare cases.
- Orthotics have no role in the correction of intoeing.
Visit your podiatrist for more information on intoeing and the best measures to take to protect your child from further complications.