Children and Foot Orthotics: In-Toeing

Children and Foot Orthotics: In-Toeing

By Anton Karak (Director/Sales/Clinician)


"Don’t worry – they’ll grow out of it” is a common response to parents concerns about the development of their children’s feet or legs.

In some cases this can be true, however as children grow up their feet and legs undergo various stages of development. As Orthotists we are able to advise you whether your child’s development falls within acceptable limits for their age, or if treatment may be required.

90% of Children will pronate on Weight bearing as their muscles are not strong enough to control their flexible and elastic joints.. Alot of Children will excessively pronate on weight bearing conributing to lower limb pain which may need to be treated with an external device to help take stress off the muscles and ligaments stressing the joints until the muscles and ligaments are stronger enough to cope on there own. If left to grow in a stretched and biomechanical insufficient position this can lead to a lifetime of lower limb and back problems.

Don’t dismiss your childs consistent complaints of aches as “just growing pains” The reason for this can sometimes be due to poor foot and leg posture. Flat feet, intoed, bow-legged and knock-knees are some of the conditions worth assessing. The following are common lower limb conditions treated by our orthotic team:

Pigeon/In-toe gait,
Severs Disease (Osteochondrosis),
Flat Feet.

1.Pigeon Toe Deformity / In-toe gait:

Intoeing of the feet commonly referred to as “pigeon toed”, is a common torsional plane deformity of the lower limb in children and is often a common cause for concern in parents.

Children with an intoeing gait may complain of fatigue in their legs or feet and often will trip over more often when running or during exercise.

Apart from being intoed, parents may also notice their child has “knocked knees”, flat feet or that they are just walking awkwardly.

We understand the function and mechanics of the lower limb, and they can give advice, exercises or other treatment to rectify this condition.

Intoeing can be caused by rotational or positional problems in the hip, knee or foot. There may also be movements in the foot and leg to compensate for an intoed gait, and these compensatory movements may lead to further problems. Tight hamstrings and calves can also contribute to this.

Treatment options for an intoed gait include biomechanical assessment with orthotic correction, a personalised stretching program, change to sitting or sleeping position and gait plates that encourage an out-toe gait.

This condition is a common complaint that has very successful results when treated early.