Children start walking between the ages of 9-15 months with girls being a little bit faster than boys.  It is common to see children walking with the feet turned in or out.  Out-toeing is a less of a concern because children usually grow out of this condition. 

In Toeing in Children

In-toeing also know as pigeon-toed, can be a problem if left untreated.  If the condition does not correct itself, children can develop numerous problems as they become young adults.  These include bunions, hammertoes, heel pain and/or ankle, knee or lower back problems. 

This is because as the foot turns in, the heel turns outward.  This is called over-pronation.  Most foot deformities occur because of abnormal gait disturbances.  In addition, the leg is rotated internally, which is the reason for knee and lower back pain.


Treatment for In-Toeing

Most doctors will tell parents that their child will outgrow this problem.  As a Hillsborough podiatrist, we see many patients per day who have problems secondary to uncorrected in-toeing.  So, it is best to treat and prevent problems instead of waiting for the problem to correct itself.  Treatment is very simple which is making a pair of custom orthotics.  Depending on the age of the child, an orthotic can decrease the amount of in-toeing.  Once the child reaches the age of seven, it is difficult to eliminate the in-toeing but an orthotic will help prevent foot problems that are associated with this deformity. 

Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
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Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!