In the first 6 years of life, our leg bones undergo a series of rotational changes. Sometimes it’s hard for both parents and the child to keep up!
In toeing is a common pediatric podiatry concern, otherwise referred to as a ‘Pigeon-Toed’. Usually observed in a child’s first 2-3 years of walking and during early to middle primary school ages. It is seen mostly in children when they walk or run with one or both feet turning in. Although it is a gait variation, it is not typically considered abnormal. “Abnormal” depends on factors including age, lower limb function and if pain is involved. Most intoeing cases tend to present as asymptomatic (no symptoms), however some severe cases can cause issues with tripping, stability and balance.
In toeing often comes from 1 of 3 places, the hip, leg or foot.
Some common causes include:
* This is when the foot is curved inwards from the middle of the foot to the toes.
* It can resemble a mild clubfoot deformity – but this is a separate problem.
* If treatment is necessary, it normally involves casts or special corrective shoes between 6-9 months of age.
Internal tibial torsion
* This is when the tibia (shin bone) has an internal twist and turns inwards.
* It is very common in infancy and childhood.
* Tibial torsion normally improves in children with growth up to 12 years of age.
Internal Femoral Anteversion (torsion)
* This when the femur (thigh bone) turns inwards between the hip and knee joints.
* It normally corrects in children by age 10.
* Children with this condition often sit in the ‘W’ position, which should always be avoided
Podiatry treatment options can vary from addressing posture abnormalities, stretching and strengthening to orthotics and gait plates. First and foremost a thorough assessment is always necessary to ensure appropriate treatment and the best possible outcome.
Let’s take care of those little feet so they can grow into the big healthy feet they deserve to be!
Anneliese is at Health Associates as a Podiatrist working Monday and fortnightly Saturday.
She holds both a Bachelor of Psychology and Podiatry.
As a podiatrist she combines her proficient knowledge of human mechanics and ability to connect and engage with her patients to deliver outstanding clinical outcomes and an exceptional customer experience.
Anneliese loves health and fitness and enjoys encouraging her patients to maximise their health.