Generally when most people walk their feet point straight ahead or outward.However in some people, more common in young children, the feet point inwards. This is called ‘In-Toeing’ or ‘Pigeon Toed’.
In-Toeing can affect one or both legs and often runs in families.
What problems can arise?
Children with In-Toeing tend to trip over a little more and are only at risk of any injuries caused by a fall.
Occasionally children with In-Toeing can have problems in getting shoes that fit, because of the curve of their feet.
Children with In-Toeing can still play sport well, and are not at any higher risk of problems such as arthritis or back pain.
There are three common causes of In-Toeing:
Tibial torsion – The shinbone is the most common twisted bone. The twist can be caused by the way the baby lay in the womb while the bones were still soft. The bone slowly untwists as the child grows. And the twist is usually gone by the time they reach school age.
Femoral anteversion – The thigh bone can also be twisted inwards. This usually corrects itself, more slowly, by age nine or ten. In some children this doesn’t correct fully and these are the people who walk pigeon-toed as adults.
Metartasus adductus – The feet are curved inwards, causing them to walk with a Pigeon toed gait.
It is important to consult with your Podiatrist if your child’s In-Toeing is:
Causing difficulty with activities (e.g. unable to walk or run due to constant tripping and falling)