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Intoeing is a disorder where the feet turn inward when standing or walking. Children who have this condition are often referred to as “pigeon toed” due to the position of their feet when they walk. Intoeing is usually apparent in young children but can go away on its own as the child matures. In some cases, treatment is required to correct the position of the foot. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons and physicians at DOCS Health offer intoeing treatment for patients at our medical center in Los Angeles.

Intoeing is usually noticeable in young children or infants when they begin to stand and walk. The child’s toes will point inward, like the feet of a pigeon or other type of bird. The condition is usually passed on by genetics due to the position of the foot, tibia or femur. While most children overcome intoeing without treatment, some severe cases may need treatment to straighten the foot and improve mobility.

Causes of Intoeing or Pigeon-Toed Deformities

There are three main disorders that cause intoeing: metatarsus adductus, tibial torsion and femoral anteversion. Each can cause the foot to turn inward and impact how a child walks and runs. Most children with intoeing who are under the age of eight have their condition correct itself without specialized braces, orthopedic footwear or treatment. In some cases, children may require treatment to straighten pigeon toed feet.

  • Metatarsus varus. Children born with feet that are turned or bent inward (metatarsus adductus) usually have improvement within six months after birth. If the condition does not self-correct, specialized shoes or casts may be needed to straighten the feet.
  • Tibial torsion. If the tibia is turned or twisted inward (tibial torsion) in children, the condition generally untwists on its own. Special footwear, braces or casts are not usually recommended. If the condition does not self-correct by age eight, surgery can be considered to straighten the tibia.
  • Femoral anteversion. If the femur turns inward (femoral anteversion), it can be noticeable in children around age five. Most cases self-correct, but in rare circumstances, surgery can be considered if the condition persists beyond age 9-10.

If you have a child who is pigeon toed, contact our team at DOCS Health for a consultation. Our orthopedic specialists can determine whether or not your child may need intoeing treatment – call our clinic in Los Angeles to schedule an appointment.