My Child is ‘Pigeon-Toed’! What Does That Mean? (Video)

A child who walks with his feet pointing toward the center, as opposed to slightly outward, may have a condition called intoeing, more commonly known as “pigeon-toed.”

Intoeing can be caused by three factors:  a curve in the thigh bone (fibula), the shin bone (tibia) or the foot.

Having a child who is pigeon-toed is one of the most common reasons that parents consult a specialist.  “Over 90 percent of these children will outgrow it,” says Roger Saldana, M.D. a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute at Baptist Children’s Hospital.

Bracing, once widely used to correct the problem, is now only used in less than 1 percent of patients“The bracing can actually cause weakness that can maybe even delay the progress of them getting better on their own,” says Dr. Saldana.

While intoeing can cause clumsiness or tripping, parents should consider consulting a specialist if the condition results in injuries, such as broken bones, cuts that require stitches, knocking out teeth or other injuries that would require a visit to an urgent care center or a hospital emergency room.

Dr. Saldana offers reassurance to parents that almost all intoeing improves on its own and “it doesn’t cause any lasting issues, no arthritis, no other joint issues or bone issues.”

Watch the video above to learn more about intoeing from Dr. Saldana.

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