My child is intoed, what should I do?

If you noticed that you or your spouse has a certain foot type it can be given to your children because foot types are inheritable. Children typically start walking at the age of 9-12 months. However, in some cases they can take up to 16 months before they are walking without help. Many patients come for an initial visit complaining that their child is “intoed” or “pigeon toed”. It is very common for children that just started walking to appear pigeon toed after taking their first steps.

            It is important to note that “intoeing” is not necessarily a problem, however it can be a sign of leg or foot deformities.  The position the infant during pregnancy can have a profound effect on their lower extremities when born. Please keep track of your child’s developmental milestones especially in regards to their ambulation. Some intoeing can be caused by bad positioning during pregnancy. Other times, intoeing can be caused by having a C-shaped foot, known as metatarsus adductus. Most metatarsus adductus cases resolve simply by having the parent stretch the feet into a more normalized position 3-4 times a day. Additionally, intoeing may also be caused by the femur (thigh bone) turned in too much, over the first 8-10 years of life it can normalize with proper shoe wear and conditioning. If you notice that your children prefers to sleep on their stomach or sit like a “W”, it may indicate their thigh bone is too internally rotated. Unfortunately, there are cases that may need surgery if they do not spontaneaously resolve.

            If you have noticed that your child intoes or that there is anything off about your child’s ambulation, please give us a call at Gentle Touch Foot Care. A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is important for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  In the case of children’s feet, the most important thing is monitoring the child’s developmental milestones. If there you have any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s and Dr. Saleh’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 – 3668.