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Straight Talk: Should You Worry About Intoeing?

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Intoeing in childrenWhether you have just had your first child or are on number 20, you simply want to know that your children are healthy and will have every opportunity to lead normal lives. When a child has feet that are pigeon-toed, it can lead you to wonder “Should I worry about intoeing?” Well, at McDowell Podiatry Group we can answer that question for you.

In most instances, a case of intoeing isn’t anything to worry about. This particular condition does not result in pain and, even better, it will often resolve itself in time without treatment as your child grows. There are various stages of your child’s development where you might notice this gait abnormality, and let’s look at them:

  • Infancy. When babies are born with feet that are turned in, it typically is the result of positioning and crowding within the womb. In such a case, it is a good idea to check with us to see if any intoeing treatment—like early splinting or casting—might be necessary.

  • Age 2. If a child is still intoeing during the second year, it is likely due to an inward twisting of the tibia (shinbone), called internal tibial torsion. This condition tends to be passed along in families.

  • Ages 3-10. Should the intoeing present itself during this age range, the issue is probably an inward twist at the femur (thighbone). This is referred to as medial femoral torsion and it can also be genetic.

Typically, treatment for intoeing hasn’t proven to be effective and most cases simply correct themselves after a while. Once your child hit 9 or 10 years of age, however, it might be time to consider surgery as a way of correcting the twist in the foot or leg. Of course, this is something we would discuss together and determine if it is best for your child.

Intoeing is just one of the many foot and ankle conditions that can affect children. No matter what injury or condition is creating pain or impairing your child’s ability to do favorite activities, bring him or her into our Carmichael, CA office. We will provide an accurate diagnosis for the problem and then work to create an effective treatment plan so your son or daughter can lead a normal, active life. Contact McDowell Podiatry Group through our online form or schedule your appointment by calling us today at (916) 961-3434.

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