Do you feel like one of your leg points inwards when you walk, and you often find yourself tripping over? Or do you observe that your child’s feet tends to turn inwards (or perhaps they are clumsy when playing with friends)? This condition is known as in-toeing. In-toeing commonly occurs due to four main factors that stem from either your hip, legs, feet or muscles:
1. Thighs are turned inwards (femoral anteversion)
2. Leg is turned inwards (internal tibial torsion)
3. The front part of the foot turns towards the midline of the body (metatarsus adductus)
4. Tight muscles in the legs
Most children with intoed gait will outgrow it, so in most cases it is something so keep and eye on and manage, but does not usually lead to long term problems.
Your Podiatrist will be able to assist you in determining where the in-toeing is stemming from and will be able to provide you with advice regarding non-surgical management of the condition (it is very rare to require surgical treatment).
At home there is a few things you can do. If you are worried that your child maybe in-toeing, get them to perform a squat. Firstly, avoid sitting in a W-position but instead start sitting cross-legged to stretch out your hips. We also encourage that you take up activities that position your hips, leg and foot in an outwards position, including activities such as horse riding, ballet and swimming (breast stroke preferred). See your podiatrist today for assessment and further advice. At the Perth Foot & Ankle Clinic we can use our Bodytech gait analysis machine to assess intoed gait and monitor over time.