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Intoeing in Children: Care Instructions


Intoeing occurs when the feet turn inward, or pigeon-toe, rather than pointing forward. It usually happens in young children. Intoeing is usually nothing to worry about. Most children will outgrow it. When your child will grow out of intoeing depends on the cause. Intoeing can be caused by a curve in the foot that developed before birth. In some cases, a doctor may put casts on the baby's feet to help straighten them.

In other children, a twist in the leg bone (tibia) between the knee and the ankle or the thigh bone (femur) can cause intoeing. These conditions are not treated in most children, because they usually grow out of them. A very few children might need surgery.

Intoeing can also show up in older children and young teens. It can be caused by the angle between the thigh bone and the hip. This very rarely requires treatment, because it improves as the child moves through the teen years.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Watch how your child walks and develops. Let your doctor know if your child does not walk well or if their feet do not get straighter over time.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has leg pain or trips a lot.
  • Your child has trouble walking.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.