The 3 Types of Intoeing in Children


One of the most common problems to affect children as they are growing up is a condition called intoeing, where the toes have a tendency to point inward. This is also known as being “pigeon-toed.” While this unusual walking style may be of concern to parents, most often the child will outgrow the condition by the age of eight or nine without the need for intervention. 

Another condition called out-toeing, where the feet point away from each other, is much less common but since both of these abnormalities have behavioral and hereditary components, you should consult with your foot care professional for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

The 3 main types of intoeing are:

  1. Tibial torsion (twisted shin bone)—This expected twisting of the shin bone actually begins in the womb, and by the time children reach school age, the tibia will correct it’s twisting tendency. If the twisting is still evident after age 8-10, a surgical intervention may be necessary.
  2. Metatarsus adductus (curved foot)—This bend occurs in the middle of the foot. The foot is often flexible with this condition, but if rigidity becomes prevalent after the first six months up to a year and a half, it may be necessary to wear special shoes or a boot for correction to ensue.
  3. Femoral anteversion (twisted thigh bone)—The thigh bone turns inward thereby causing both the knees and the feet to face inward. This condition will also often correct itself, but if by age nine or ten there are still problems with ambulation, surgery may be necessary to straighten out the femur bone.

While both in-toeing and out-toeing will often correct themselves by age ten or earlier, having your child’s feet checked by your foot doctor on a regular basis will avoid any complications. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuriespediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions.With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.