What to Do if Children Walk with Their Feet Turned Inward

Up until the age of 8, the angle between children's feet and legs isn't defined yet. Therefore, parents of children whose feet turn inward shouldn't worry too much. 
What to Do if Children Walk with Their Feet Turned Inward

Last update: 25 February, 2019

On many occasions, we may notice children walking with their feet turned inward. This is a condition known as pigeon toe. Do you know the reason behind this condition?

The main causes of walking with the feet turned inward

Internal tibial torsion

As the name indicates, one of the main causes of children walking with their feet turned inward is a deformation of the tibia.

This deformation causes an inward twist. This condition usually corrects itself with the passing of time and doesn’t require any sort of treatment.

Metatarso adductus

Another possible cause of pigeon toe is metatarso adductus, a condition where the interior part of the foot turns inward. This generally occurs as a result of the baby’s position in the womb and a lack of space when he or she starts to grow.

What to Do if Children Walk with Their Feet Turned Inward

Even with this deformation, a child’s feet may be flexible or rigid. The level of flexibility will indicate whether or not treatment is necessary. If treatment is needed, then it’s important to take the little one’s age into account.

In the case of babies that are under the age of 1, treatment usually involves a cast. The purpose of this treatment is to correct the posture of the foot before the baby starts walking. 

In cases of older children, specialists will likely resort to surgery in order to free the joints of the feet’s interior. Recovery will then require a cast.

Femoral anteversion

Femoral anteversion occurs when the femur bone twists inward, causing the knees and feet to do the same. Detecting this issue when children are seated is quite simple, because they tend to make a W with their legs.

At the same time, they have a hard time sitting with their legs crossed, which is a common position for children.

This condition takes more time to correct, given that the twist in the femur can cause children to walk with their feet turned inward until they’re even more than 10 years old. As for treatment, it’s best to wait until the problem corrects itself naturally.

If children continue to walk pigeon-toed by the time they reach preadolescence, they may require surgery to correct the issue.

What to Do if Children Walk with Their Feet Turned Inward

How to solve the problem

The first thing you should do is observe your child over the course of several days. If, during that time, you notice that your child is walking pigeon-toed, you should take him or her to a specialist.

Normally, the doctor will first perform an X-ray, and may also conduct a scan to confirm that the rotation isn’t serious.

As we explained above, most cases aren’t serious because leg rotation isn’t completely defined until about 8 or 10 years of age. If your child continues walking with his or her feet turned inward at that point, a simple operation can correct the issue.

A surgeon will place small metal plaques in the area of the cartilage, or directly mold the feet to straighten out the rotation .

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.