Intoeing is where the feet turn inwards when walking. Intoeing can cause a child to trip or look awkward when walking or running.
There are 3 common causes of intoeing:
- Metatarsus adductus – the foot is curved inwards.
Metatarsus adductus is where the outside border of the foot curves inwards.
This is a common condition in young children. Usually, these feet are flexible and improve without treatment by the age of 3 years. Gentle stretches may help.
- Internal tibial torsion – the leg bone turns inwards.
Internal tibial torsion is when the tibia bone (between the knee and the ankle) turns inwards.
This is common in childhood and usually corrects without treatment by the age of 6 years. Exercises, braces or splints will not help.
- Femoral anteversion – the thigh bone turns inwards.
Femoral anteversion is where the femur bone (between the hip and the knee) turns inwards.
This is common in children and usually corrects by itself by the age of 12 years. Exercises, braces or splints are not required.
Intoeing is normal and common during childhood. Most children will grow out of it naturally.
Contact your doctor if:
- Intoeing only affects one leg.
- Intoeing is severe and not improving with time.
- Intoeing is causing tripping in a school age child that affects participation in activities.
- The feet are stiff and not improving with time.
- There is a difference between the length or size of your child’s legs.
Images courtesy of The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
Clinic 11 – Telephone 01522 573836
Site: Lincoln County Hospital