As parents, you love watching your baby grow up into a toddler and seeing all of the developmental changes that happen. One of the most exciting moments is to witness your baby taking his or her first steps. It is normal for their small feet and bodies to take some time to master walking, and sometimes you may see some abnormal walking patterns. One of the most common is in-toeing or out-toeing, which is when the toes either point towards each other or away from each other as they walk.
The toes point towards each other when the lower or upper leg bones twist inward, or when the foot bends in the middle. This rotation may be caused by how the feet were positioned in the womb when there was limited space, or can be hereditary. In the majority of cases, the feet will straighten over time and will not require any intervention. Out-toeing is much less common and is the result of the outward rotation of the leg bones. In some cases, it can be an indication of an underlying neuromuscular condition.
In both cases, it is important to monitor the progression of walking over time as the toddler’s leg bones grow and walking improves. Consulting with a podiatrist is recommended for the following cases:
- If in/out-toeing does not improve by age 3
- If only one leg is affected
- If the child is having difficulty walking
- If the condition worsens
- If the child complains of pain
A foot care specialist can help evaluate your children’s feet and determine what kind of treatment is necessary. Sometimes special casts or braces may be used to help straighten the feet, and in rare cases, surgery may be used to rotate the legs from the hips. Dr. Russell Samofal of Podiatry Center of New Jersey helps patients of all ages to treat conditions like heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, sports injuries, and diabetic foot problems. Please contact us or call our office in Wayne, NJ, conveniently located to serve Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties at (973) 925-4111!