4 Things Parents Need To Kmow About Pigeon Toes
Pigeon toes, also known as intoeing, is a gait abnormality that can affect young children. Children with this condition walk with their feet pointed inwards instead of straight ahead. Here are four things parents need to know about pigeon toes.
What causes it?
Many different factors have been suggested as causes of pigeon toe. A podiatrist will need to examine your child's feet and take a patient history to determine the cause. Here are some of the factors that may play a role in the development of pigeon toe:
- Not having enough room to develop in the uterus;
- Birth complications;
- Sleeping in the prone position;
- Sitting on the feet;
- Genetic causes;
What are the signs of pigeon toes?
If your child has pigeon toes, you will notice that their feet are positioned abnormally while they stand or walk. Normally, the feet should be pointed straight forward, but children with pigeon toes turn their feet inward.
You may notice other signs as well. Children with pigeon toes may trip or fall and may not want to run and play. Non-vocal children may cry, while older children may complain that their legs and feet hurt.
Can children grow out of it?
It's possible for children to grow out of pigeon toes, so your podiatrist may recommend waiting to see what happens before starting any treatment. In many cases, the condition will correct itself by late childhood.
Treatment is generally recommended in cases where the pigeon toes are still present after the child turns eight years old. Treatment may be recommended earlier if the pigeon toes are severe and cause serious functional or cosmetic problems.
What treatments are available?
Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available for pigeon toes. The podiatrist may put your child's feet and lower legs in a series of casts to correct the condition. These casts will slowly re-position your child's feet.
If casting doesn't work, surgery may be required, though this is a last-resort treatment. One surgery that can be performed to correct intoeing is femoral derotation osteotomy. This is a very invasive procedure. The surgeon will make an incision in the thigh to access the thigh bone. Next, the bone will be cut and rotated into the correct position. Plates and screws will be used to hold the bone in the correct place while it heals.
If your child's feet point inwards when they walk, take them to a podiatrist, like Dr. Maurice Levy, right away for an examination.