Intoeing occurs when feet curve inward rather than facing straight when mobile. Children can have this happen to their feet when they first start walking but they generally outgrow it. However, children may also have this develop at various ages due to metatarsus adductus (the foot turns inward), tibial torsion (shinbone goes inward) and femoral anteversion (thighbone moves inward). This condition does not generally cause pain. However, it can lead to pain or inflammation, in which case other foot complications may result. This condition could be genetic or result from developmental deformities.
Types of intoeing conditions include:
· Tibial torsion, in particular, includes the turning in of a child's lower leg. This happens because their legs did not turn into the correct position after being born. Unfortunately, orthopedic devices such as splints and physical therapy don't help to fix this condition. Surgery may be required if a child is around 10 years old and this complication is still present and is hindering mobility.
· Femoral torsion is the turning in of a child's upper leg. With this condition, support devices and physical therapy also do not help. Surgery may again be required if a child is older than 9 years old and again has mobility issues.
· Lastly, bow legs are when the knees are out of alignment. Supportive shoes or wedges do not help with this condition. This condition generally does not cause pain and mostly gets better on its own.
The conditions described above have a negative effect on foot function and therefore the ability to walk, hindering mobility. It is important to consider surgical procedures if intoeing produces any of these conditions. Please contact us if your child has intoeing that is not going away on its own. Here at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC, located in Waterbury 203-755-0489 & Newtown 203-270-6724, Connecticut, our podiatrist, Dr. Joel S. Segalman, DPM, will be able to determine if your child is a candidate for surgery if their intoeing is causing significant pain. Please make an appointment today by calling our office at any of the two numbers listed above.