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How to Treat In-Toeing and Out-Toeing

Have you noticed that your child’s toes point inward when he or she walks? This is a foot abnormality called in-toeing and is fairly common in young children.

Children can also be seen out-toeing which is just the opposite and where the toes point outward when walking. This condition is much less common than in-toeing.

Although different from each other, both of these abnormalities can be caused by the same conditions:

  • The position of the baby in the womb before birth
  • Genetics
  • Sitting or sleeping in certain positions for a long period of time

When parents observe their children walking either with in-toeing or out-toeing characteristics and bring their children to see us at Clark Podiatry Center, they are relieved to learn that most of these abnormalities resolve on their own as the child ages. Most tendencies to in-toe or out-toe are gone without any special treatment by age 8.

In-Toeing Runs in Families

There is no method to prevent in-toeing as genetics plays a large role. Here are the 3 most common types of in-toeing:

  • Tibia torsion or twisted shin exhibits in-toeing because the whole lower leg twists inward. This abnormality often begins when the baby is in the womb, and when the child reaches school age the tibia will usually fully un-twist. If the shin is still twisted or the twist is severe by age 9 or 10, surgery may be required to correct the problem.
  • Metatarsus adductus, also known as a curved foot, occurs when the feet bend inwards beginning at the middle of the foot. A serious case of in-toeing will be very rigid. If an infant is observed with rigid in-toeing, they may benefit from wearing a cast or special shoes beginning at 6 or 9 months to correct this deformity.
  • In femoral anteversion or a twisted thighbone, the twist occurs higher at the femur. Parents usually notice this abnormality by age 6. Because of the twisted thighbone, both the knees and feet point inward. Almost all twisted thighbone cases correct by themselves. However, a child over age 9 with this condition who has an abnormal gait or trips frequently may need surgery.

Out-Toeing Is Much Less Common

Although not as frequent as in-toeing, out-toeing can cause pain and disability if persisting into adulthood. In children, out-toeing often resolves itself. Some children with flat feet also show out-toeing but this type of abnormality rarely causes discomfort.

Contact Us with Any Concerns About Your Child’s Foot Health

We are experts in diagnosing and treating pediatric foot problems. Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to resolve any foot pain in your child. Please contact us at our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your child in our office soon.