When to Get Care for Pigeon Toes

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Pigeon ToesParents ask it regularly: when do you get help for your child’s health, and when do you let it heal itself? Sometimes the answer is easy. Your child is running a high fever, or clearly has a cut that needs stitches. You know right away you need medical intervention. When your child complains of vague pain, or just seems “off color,” though, it’s not as clear cut. Do you wait it out and see if the problem resolves itself, or do you make the appointment? Many parents wonder that specifically when they notice their child intoeing.

Intoeing, or pigeon toes, is a very common gait abnormality in young walkers. The position of the feet in the womb points the toes toward each other. In most cases, you child will outgrow the problem early on. For some children, however, it shows up as they totter around and practice their walking. This concerns many parents and they immediately want to know if this needs treatment.

So when does your child need care for intoeing? Well, that depends. It’s a good idea to have your son or daughter’s feet checked out, just to make sure there are no underlying conditions that may be contributing to the problem. That way if the gait abnormality is connected to an injury or an illness, it can be addressed right away.

As for getting treatment, it depends on the reason the toes are pointing inward, how old your child is, and whether or not intoeing interfering with his or her ability to walk. Sometimes toes point inward because there’s a curve in the midfoot bones called metatarsus adductus. If this isn’t flexible or doesn’t straighten out on its own, your child may need stretching and casting to fix it. If the intoeing is interfering with your child’s ability to walk or participate in activities, especially as he or she grows, then it will probably need care.

For the vast majority of children, however, the best thing to do is monitor the condition. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help you figure out the best way to keep track of your child’s progress and gait. We’ll work with you to check for other abnormalities and underlying problems as well. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek in Denver locations by calling (303) 805-5156. You can also use our website.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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