Walking Funny: Gait Abnormalities Your Child Might Have

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Gait abnormalities in childrenDenver is a city designed for an active life and a love of walking. Paths like the Cherry Creek trail run straight through the downtown area and out towards Parker. It’s a great place to take your kids for a walk or run. Getting your kids running and playing outdoors early is always a good idea. Not only does it build good habits, but it helps you see their development and identify problems early, like gait abnormalities. Most children have awkward walking movements, yes, but they eventually grow into normal strides. Other children have an awkward walk due to problems that need to be addressed.

Gait abnormalities are pretty common. They’re any unusual issue in your child’s lower limbs that affect or interfere with his or her ability to walk. Now, small children don’t develop a recognizably adult, coordinated gait for years. Their legs and feet need to grow to that point. There are, however, other factors that can make a toddler’s gait abnormal. Here are a few conditions that might impact his or her walking:

  • Toe Walking – Walking on the toes could just be a habit, but it could also signal Achilles tendon problems.
  • Intoeing – Curved feet from metatarsus adductus and twists in the shin or thigh can make toes point inward. Most children outgrow these problems, but sometimes metatarsus adductus needs casting or splinting.
  • Out-Toeing – Like intoeing, this can be from abnormal twists in the legs or hips. Most children do outgrow this, but it can signal neuromuscular problems, too.
  • Limping – This is usually a sign that something is causing pain, even if your child doesn’t complain.

There are a few other possibilities, but they are pretty rare. For all of these, it’s best to get your son or daughter checked out to look for underlying conditions that need treatment. This is especially the case if your child has pain when walking, or if he or she trips frequently as a result of the condition.

You want your child to grow up healthy and active, so he or she can enjoy Colorado and the larger world like you do. If you’re concerned about gait abnormalities, let our team know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. to see how we can help. You can connect with us through our website, or by calling us at our Cherry Creek, Parker, or Castle Pines, CO offices at (303) 805-5156.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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