Did you ever notice your child’s feet turning in as they walk and wonder if something is terribly wrong? Not to worry – this is a very common condition in young children. Intoeing, or being pigeon-toed as it is sometimes called, is something most children will outgrow as their legs and feet mature. In years past, children’s feet were often put into cumbersome casts and braces, but the general consensus today is that such treatments don’t necessarily bring about better results than just letting the child’s own development take its course.
There are three causes for a child’s feet to turn inward. Most often it is the shinbone (tibia) that is twisted. This tibial torsion may happen because of the way the baby’s soft bones lay in the womb, however it will straighten out as their legs grow. The thigh bone (femur) can also be turned toward the inside. This femoral anteversion can take longer to correct itself, but most children still walk normally by age nine or ten. With Metatarsus adductus, the child’s feet are turned inward, sometimes quite severely. This condition also often corrects itself in time, although sometimes special shoes or braces may be prescribed in the first year or two.
It is good to know that intoeing isn't painful for your child, and usually doesn't interfere with their learning to walk or cause degenerative diseases like arthritis later in life. In fact, most children don’t need extra help and will learn to walk with their toes pointing normally (straight ahead) by the time they are two, and even more difficult cases often resolve themselves by age eight.
We encourage you to consult the Fixing Feet Institute if you have a question about your child’s toeing in. We can determine if the problem is serious and whether any treatment is needed. Contact us by filling out our online form or give us a call at (623) 584-5556 and put your worries to rest.