How to Correct Pigeon Toes in Children

Jan 23, 2017

No child (and, to be honest, few adults) walk with a picture-perfect gait, but if you notice pigeon-toed walking in your little one, you’re probably wondering how you can help them build a natural-looking walking pattern. After all, you certainly don’t want inward-pointing toes to inhibit their development or carry into adulthood.

You may be surprised to learn that most effective treatment to correct pigeon toes—and the only one required in 90 percent or more of all cases—is simply time. While foot or leg bones may start out a little twisted or rotated, the vast majority will self-correct by the time your little one is 5-8 years old. Even better news? Pigeon toed walking typically does not cause any discomfort or cause any long-term consequences for your child.

That doesn’t mean, however, that walking with pigeon toes should be ignored. While most cases sort themselves out on their own, a few may not. An appointment with a podiatrist like Dr. Stuart Birnbaum is strongly recommended to determine if there are any troubling warning signs, such as an underlying nerve condition, or intoeing which is particularly rigid or severe.

In those cases where additional treatment is needed, the procedures selected are guided by the severity of the condition, the age of the child, and the source of the rotation—whether it’s the foot, shinbone, or thighbone that’s twisted. In some cases, the use of casts, braces, and special shoes over a period of time can gradually influence the leg bones to return to a normal position and alignment.

For the toughest cases, surgery to re-set a rotated shin or leg bone may ultimately be required, especially if there is any discomfort or difficulty walking. In general, it’s best to wait until your little one is at least 8-10 years old before performing any surgical correction, although there may be exceptions.

We know how important the health and happiness of your child is to you, so you’ll be sure to find gentle, compassionate, and honest care from the Brook Valley Podiatry team. Whether your little one needs direct treatment for their pigeon-toed walking—or more likely, just a trained and watchful eye—we’ll be there to provide the needed care. Schedule an appointment in Spring Valley by calling (845) 352-7507 or fill out our online form.

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