In-toeing Usually Corrects Itself
One of the most common problems to affect children as they are growing up is a condition called in-toeing, where the toes point inwards when walking. This is also referred to as being “pigeon-toed”. While this abnormal walking style may be of concern to parents, in most instances the child will outgrow the condition by age 8 without the need for any special intervention. Another condition called out-toeing, where the toes point away from each other, is much less common. Both of these abnormalities can be caused by genetics, and also by the position the baby takes in the womb before birth.
The three types of in-toeing are:
- Twisted shin (tibial torsion)—This twisting of the shin bone actually begins in the womb, and often by the time children reach school age, the tibia will correct itself and appear more normal. If the twisting remains after age 8-10, surgery may be necessary.
- Curved foot (metatarsus adductus)—This is a bend that occurs in the middle of the foot. The foot is often flexible with this condition, but if rigidity becomes prevalent in 6-9 month olds, it may be necessary to wear special shoes or a cast for correction.
- Twisted thigh bone (femoral anteversion)—In this version, the thigh bone turns inward causing both the knees and the feet to point inwards. This will usually correct itself, but if by age 10 there are still problems with walking, surgery may be necessary to straighten out the femur.
While both in-toeing and out-toeing will often correct by age 10 or earlier, having your child’s feet checked by your foot doctor can help alleviate your concerns.
For more expert advice on pediatric foot treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!