The basics of intoeing
Pigeon Toe Intoeing is a condition when the tips of the feet are rotated inwards towards each other instead of pointing forward. It is commonly found in children and can affect walking. The majority of cases of intoeing found in children under the age of ten corrects themselves. Intoeing falls into three different categories. They are:
- Persistent femoral anteversion (twisted thigh bone) is a condition where the hip joint is bent forward causing the legs and feet to turn further inward.
- Tibial torsion (twisted shin bone) is caused by a twisted leg bone causing the feet to turn towards each other.
- Metatarsus adductus (curved foot) is when the feet turn inward starting in the middle of the foot and continuing to the toes. It can sometimes looks similar to clubfoot.
Signs and symptoms of intoeing
- Unsteady walking, stumbling, tripping over toes, etc.
- Discernible inward turn of feet
- An awkward gait or another pronounced abnormal way of walking
- Irregular wearing on the soles of your shoes.
The causes of Pigeon Toe intoeing
While there is no known cause of intoeing, it is not uncommon to sometimes run in the family.
When performing an exam for intoeing, your healthcare provider will likely take some of the following steps.
- Perform a visual examination of the legs and feet.
- Observe and note any patterns of the patient’s walking.
- Perform several X-rays to get a better view of the structure of the legs and feet.
There is no recommended treatment for intoeing in children under the age of ten. In most instances, cases of intoeing will correct themself. If the condition does not self-correct, you may need to take additional steps. The proper treatment depends on the cause of the intoeing.
- Persistent femoral anteversion (twisted thigh bone): Typically the condition self-corrects prior to the child’s 5th birthday. Special exercise programs, splints and orthopedic shoes are generally not effective. If the problem is more serious, surgery may be recommended to reset the bone in the proper place.
- Tibial torsion (twisted shin bone): This complication typically corrects itself before the age of five. Special exercise programs, splints and orthopedic shoes are generally not effective. Only in the most severe cases is surgery performed to set the bone properly.
- Metatarsus adductus (curved foot): The most common of the three, curved foot usually corrects itself before the child is five to six months old. In more severe cases of Metatarsus adductus intoeing, physicians may recommend using a cast, splint or special orthopedic shoes to help realign the foot, correcting the condition over time. Surgery is almost never used to treat this class of intoeing.