‘My baby walks funny’
Did you know that pigeon toes (or intoeing) occurs in 2 out of every 1000 children? But wait, there’s more.
Soon after my little girl was born, I noticed that she was very bowlegged and I couldn’t remember any of my other kids having legs like that. When she started walking at 10 months I noticed how her right foot was pointing inward as she walked. She was also more prone to falling than her brothers were. So I made an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon.
The doctor confirmed that she was intoeing and explained the reasons why. During foetal development the lower limbs start rotating inward around the seventh week, this makes the toes point towards each other. Later the legs gradually rotate out again and this may carry on during childhood, but by the time of birth, the feet are approximately pointed straight forward.
A small amount of twist in infant legs is considered normal. With my little girl, the rotation was slightly more than normal resulting in feet pointing inwards when she walked.
Since this condition usually corrects by itself, no treatment is planned for now. However, if she still suffers from it at 12 years of age, we will look at it again.
There are three types of intoeing (click for more detail on each):
More about intoeing
- Metatarsus Adductus (curved foot)
- Tibial Torsion (twisted shin)
- Femoral Anteversion (twisted thigh)
Generally, children with intoeing are otherwise completely healthy and do not suffer from other abnormalities or diseases.
- It usually does not cause pain.
- It usually does not interfere with learning to walk.
- It has not been linked to arthritis in adulthood.
- It does not cause clumsiness.
- Occurs in about 2 out of every 1000 children.
- Is more common in infants and young children than in adolescents.
Do you know anyone who has dealt with intoeing in the family?
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- Columbia Orthopaedics
- University of Maryland Medical Centre
- American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society