Intoeing is a condition where the feet turn inward rather than pointing straight ahead when walking. The condition mainly afflicts children who grow out of it as they mature. In some cases intoeing does not correct itself. The three main causes of intoeing include curved foot, twisted shin bone and twisted thigh bone. Intoeing is commonly referred to as pigeon toes or knocked knees.
This is a common condition where a child’s foot bends inward starting at the middle portion of the foot continuing out to the toes. Cases range from very mild to severe. The curved foot may be very flexible in some individuals while extremely rigid in others.
- Tibial torsion (rotated shin bone)
The legs are designed to fit into the womb, which causes them to be twisted. You will notice when a baby is born the legs are crooked. Eventually they straighten out as the baby’s body begins preparation for walking. Having a tibial torsion simply means the legs did not rotate correctly causing the feet or foot to turn inward.
- Femoral torsion (twisted thigh bone)
Similar to a tibial torsion, this occurs when the femur bone is twisted. This is a common condition in children about five or six years of age. The torsion occurs in the upper thigh bone are causing a ripple effect that leads to the foot pointing inward.
Risk Factors for Intoeing
Research has shown that intoeing runs in families. It
can be caused by an acute injury or other medical problems, but those instances are rare. If you have a child who consistently trips when walking or running it is important to see your doctor right away. This may be a sign of severe intoeing. In severe cases, intoeing can lead to psychological damage in children caused by teasing from others.
Treatment Options for Intoeing
Treatment options for adults are limited as the problem typically does not cause a major disruption or pose a severe health risk in adults. In instances where the intoeing is severe your doctor may ask you to consider surgery. It has been found that corrective shoes and braces do not help in the vast majority of cases involving adults. Casting is used in babies and children to try and correct a curved foot. Research has found that intoeing in children can increase the risk of arthritis caused by wear and tear in adults.
If you have foot pain as an adult, the experts at Valley Foot Surgeons may have possible treatments to help. Dr. Jacoby is an experienced foot doctor in Phoenix with over 20 years experience in both the conservative and operative treatment for the foot. Call (480) 994-5977 today!