It is normal for any parent to be anxious about their child taking his or her first steps. Once your child moves from crawling to walking, it is best to know that these first steps can be shaky at best. The process of learning how to walk takes a great deal of practice and time. However, it is common for many little ones to begin walking with the toes and feet at an angle. This is when you need to start to look for potential concerns in the form of in-toeing or out-toeing.
In-toeing is when the feet turn inward, which is also referred to as pigeon-toed. When the feet seem to point outward, then this is considered out-toeing. While this may be a bit unsettling to see an abnormal gait developing, many toddlers that show in-toeing or out-toeing are usually something that will not be painful and generally improve over time. Most healthy kids who start to show signs of in-toeing or out-toeing will grow and enjoy running, jumping, and participating in sports without any major gait issue.
What Causes This Condition?
Whenever there are abnormalities with gait, the reasoning can be unclear. Many experts in the field note that it seems that family history can play a role. If you are a parent and you had in-toeing or out-toeing when you were younger, then the chances are higher that one or more of your children could end up with the same tendency.
Research shows that construction while in the womb may add to the probability of gait issues. Once the fetus begins to grow, some bones could rotate a bit to fit properly within the interior of the uterus.
What If The Walking Does Not Show Improvement?
It is important that you speak with a podiatrist with initial concerns about your child’s gait. There can be certain situations where gait problems might be an indicator of another underlying issue. Most notably, a child with out-toeing could have some neuromuscular condition that is coming to the surface.
You should contact our team at Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic for a consultation if your child presents with:
- Gait problems that seem to get worse rather than improve
- Development of in-toeing or out-toeing that does not show any improvement by the time your child is 3-years old
- Complaints of pain or limping
- There is one foot that seems to turn outward more than the other foot
- Certain developmental delays, including problems talking as expected or other motor skill issues
When you make an appointment to see a podiatrist, you will have all of the assistance you need for specialized examinations or testing. We will work with you to ensure that your child can get the attention and care that he or she needs.
If you have questions on in-toeing or out-toeing with your child’s feet, Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call Dr. Hall at (425) 482-6663 today! We are happy to set up a time that works for your schedule so that you can bring your child in for a consultation.