What is intoeing?

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Intoeing in children: Overview

Intoeing occurs when the feet turn inward, or pigeon-toe, rather than pointing forward. It usually happens in young children. Intoeing is usually nothing to worry about. Most children will outgrow it. When your child will grow out of intoeing depends on the cause. Intoeing can be caused by a curve in the foot that developed before birth. In some cases, a doctor may put casts on the baby's feet to help straighten them.

In other children, a twist in the leg bone (tibia) between the knee and the ankle or the thighbone (femur) can cause intoeing. These conditions are not treated in most children, because they usually grow out of them. A very few children might need surgery.

Intoeing can also show up in older children and young teens. It can be caused by the angle between the thighbone and the hip. This very rarely requires treatment, because it improves as the child moves through the teen years.

How can you care for intoeing in children?

  • Watch how your child walks and develops. Let your doctor know if your child does not walk well or if their feet do not get straighter over time.

Intoeing in children: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child has leg pain or trips a lot.
  • Your child has trouble walking.

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