What to Do if Children Walk with Their Feet Turned Inward
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Accadbled, F., Ibnoulkhatib, A., & Cahuzac, J.-P. (2015). Anomalías rotacionales de los miembros inferiores en la infancia. EMC – Aparato Locomotor. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1286-935X(15)74985-3
- Niedrach, M. (1992). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. Journal of Human Lactation. https://doi.org/10.1177/089033449200800329
- Sass, P., & Hassan, G. (2003). Lower extremity abnormalities in children. American Family Physician. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.bpo.0000150809.28171.12