Have you ever noticed your child walking differently to other kids? Do their feet turn inwards? or Are they a bit clumsier than their friends?
This is certainly a common issue with children in their early stages of their walking development, it is nothing to alarm yourself with but it may be a good reason to see a Podiatrist to have everything assessed.
Intoeing is when you can see that your little ones feet may turn inwards; a common term used by some is “pigeon toed”. It is quite common in early childhood and most of the time resolves itself.
There are three reasons why intoeing can occur:
1. Metatarsus Adductus
This is when the intoeing is coming from within the foot. The foot has a curved look to it rather than the foot being straight. Most of the time this is flexible deformity and can improve with minimal intervention. In some cases, your podiatrist may give you some stretches and some in-shoe padding to help with the foot shape.
2. Internal Tibial Torsion
This is when the intoeing is coming from the lower leg, the bone in the leg has rotated inwards. This is quite common in little ones and primary school kids. It usually corrects itself over time without any help by around 8 years old with natural development.
3. Internal Femoral Torsion
Means its coming from the thigh, the bone in the thigh has rotated inwards. This is also common and usually corrects itself up until 10 years old. We would advise little ones to avoid W sitting and this can exacerbate the problem.
How can a Podiatrist help?
Podiatrists can undertake a full paediatric assessment of the lower limb to first identify any developmental issues and also identify the cause of the intoeing.
Often simple advice and small interventions; such as footwear changes and stretches are all that’s required for intoeing. However, sometimes we utilise in shoe orthotics devices (insoles) when the intoeing is coming from the hip to discourage the intoeing, which can be really effective in correcting the issue as well as reducing recurrent tripping and falls. Sometimes we will refer on to a physiotherapist or osteopath for further assessment when necessary.
All our Podiatrists at Sole Podiatry are able to undertake a detailed paediatric assessment and make recommendations to help your child during these developmental stages. Book online or call us on 9939 1012 for an appointment.