Your child’s first steps are exciting. Although they’re clumsy, you love seeing your child progress, delighted with his or her new accomplishment.

As you watch your child run and play, you might notice a unique gait. Although children need to learn how to walk properly, some parents see their child pointing his or her toes inward or outward more than the other kids their age. This can be a sign of intoeing or out-toeing.

Are You Sure Your Child Is Intoeing or Out-Toeing?

It’s normal to be unsure of whether your child is intoeing or out-toeing. After all, as children learn how to walk, they often stumble and teeter. Many parents aren’t sure if this is typical of the learning process or if there is a bigger problem.

If you’ve noticed your child’s toes pointing inward or outward, there might be a health problem that’s causing your child to walk differently from the other kids.

While your child masters the art of running, jumping, and walking, monitor his gait and the direction of his toes. As he becomes increasingly confident on his feet, watch the direction of his toes. If he still walks “pigeon-toed” (or with his feet inward) or has his toes pointed outward, it may be the sign of a bigger issue that needs to be corrected.

What Causes Intoeing or Out-Toeing?

There are many reasons why your child might walk with an inward or outward gait:

  • Your child has a slight rotation or twist in his legs or ankles (this is the most common).

  • Your child has an unusual curve to his feet.

  • Your child’s intoeing or out-toeing is genetic.

  • Something happened in the womb that caused your child’s feet to develop in a way that would cause them to go in or out.

No matter what the cause, it is a good idea for you to see a podiatrist if you notice any symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms to watch out for are the shape of your child’s foot, limping, swelling, pain, or clumsiness. If you notice any of these along with a unique gait in your child, visit our office.

Risk Factors

Without correcting intoeing or out-toeing, your child could have difficulty as he or she develops. Some of the most common concerns with intoeing and out-toeing include:

  • Unbalanced walking, which could lead to muscle strain.

  • Difficulty walking, running, or participating in athletic activities.

  • Deformities, such as hammertoe or bunions.

Diagnosing and Treating Intoeing or Out-Toeing Is Easy

Like any good parent, you’re concerned about your child’s comfort. Bringing your child in for a diagnosis of this foot problem might be difficult. Many parents are comforted by the fact that the diagnosis and treatment is easy.

  • To diagnose this condition, your podiatrist will perform a physical exam. If intoeing or out-toeing is suspected, your child might need to have an imaging test.

  • To treat this condition, your child might have to wear custom orthotics. In rare and extreme cases, your podiatrist might recommend surgery.

To find out more about this common children’s foot condition, and how you can treat it, talk to Dr. Gasparini and his team. Schedule your appointment today by calling 844-899-8658 and help your child have a healthier, happier future.