14 answers

1 Year Old Turning Foot Inward When Walking (Assisted)

Hello ladies. I have an appointment with my pediatrician on Monday (our one year - went by so fast!) but I thought I'd ask the Moms first to get some advice on something I've noticed. My little girl is now standing, cruising, and will walk if you hold her hands but hasn't taken independent steps yet (soon enough). Anyway, when she is walking assisted (ie holding my hands), she turns her left foot inwards something fierce. But when she is standing or cruising on her own she seems to keep them parallel.

As anyone seen this? Do you think I have to wear a special brace or shoes on her to correct? As I said, the pediatrician will surely advise me on Monday, but I am inpatient (and concerned) plus I feel I will be better prepared emotionally if I have some idea what she might tell me.

I should also add that she was born with DHH (hip dysplasia) and had to wear a pavlik harness for four months but Xrayed perfectly normal at 6 months.Presumably these two things are not related since the harness turned her foot out rather than in.

Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

well the pediatrician wasn't concerned at all and said it was perfectly normal. we had our regular appointment with her orthopedist this week - 3 weeks later - and now that she's walking unassisted her feet are fine! ortho says all is well!

Featured Answers

This is called "in-toeing" and is very common. I noticed it on my now 5 year old daughter when she was 18 months old. She has been seeing an orthopedist from Children's Hospital every 6 to 12 months since then. Basically, they don't do anything by way of braces or corrective shoes anymore. The doctor told me that they don't really help and are just a nuisance for the child. Once they determine that her hips and bones are normal, you just wait for her to grow out of it. My daughter's gait has improved steadily over the years and the intoeing is now only noticable if you are looking for it and if she is tired or wearing clunky boots. Good luck and try not to worry!

More Answers

I would refer her to early intervention for a developmental assessment - it's free and it doesn't hurt to get their opinion. I also second seeing a chiropractor - you can find a pediatric one at www.icpa4kids.com -
M.

Point it out to your doctor and ask for a referral to the doctor he thinks would help or for an evaluation for Physical Therapy. My son inherited my feet which were slightly turned in when I was born, we did not notice this with Nick but when he did start to walk and run he was all over the place (never a straight line) we found out his feet are turned in and flat and this gives him balance issues.

He wears the low shoe inserts called SMOES and will have to wear these until he 'stops growing'. These have changed the way he walks and run..the feet are fully connected to balance.

But you do need her checked out so they might be able to work with her now so she might not have issues later (PT, maybe a small brace etc)

We have a wonderful chiropractor that fixed the problem with one of our children. Her hips were out of place causing twisting in the legs.. thus the feet turned in. A gentle manipulation solved the whole problem within seconds.

This is called "in-toeing" and is very common. I noticed it on my now 5 year old daughter when she was 18 months old. She has been seeing an orthopedist from Children's Hospital every 6 to 12 months since then. Basically, they don't do anything by way of braces or corrective shoes anymore. The doctor told me that they don't really help and are just a nuisance for the child. Once they determine that her hips and bones are normal, you just wait for her to grow out of it. My daughter's gait has improved steadily over the years and the intoeing is now only noticable if you are looking for it and if she is tired or wearing clunky boots. Good luck and try not to worry!

Hi,
Yes, to another set of xrays, read by a pediatric orthopaedic specialist. And then I think you should consider having your pediatrician refer you for a private PT assessment or for a free one through Early Intervention (in the phone book). This evaluation will give you baseline info, and whether therapy is warrented or not, you will have this baseline for comparison as she grows.
Take care!

Hi J.,

Please, please, please ... be sure to find a GOOD doctor and see him often ... and be sure to get a 2nd, and third, and even fourth if possible opinion!

Goodluck!
J.

First of all, it could be related to the hip dysplasia and probably warrants another xray. But... many kids turn one or both feet inward or sometimes outward when they are first learning to walk and this usually corrects itself. The fact that she is only doing it when you are assisting her may mean that she is gripping your hands so tightly or her arms are up and over her head, which can cause something called "overflow" of muscle tone. Sounds complicated, but it's really not. It's the same idea as when you are pulling really hard on something or lifting something heavy, you tense other muscles in the process without even being aware you are doing it. This could be causing that foot to turn it when you are assisting her. Try holding her hands lower and see if this makes a difference. When you see your pediatrician, demonstrate it for him so he can actually see what she does. It may warrant a return visit to whomever gave you the harness, but try not to worry too much. Best of luck.

My DD was turning in one foot for a little while on and off. She actually never really walked assisted, she just started walking on her own at a year and it wasn't at that point, it was later. Her doc said they don't use the braces anymore and that it would probably correct itself (she did NOT have hip dysplasia though). She does have regular chiropractor adjustments, so not sure if it was the chiro or if it just sorted itself out but it is fine now. I'd definitely ask the doc about it and if you aren't confident in what he/she has to say pursue it futher but it might be sorted out on its own.

Hi J.,
I don't know what they do for it these days but I had the same thing when I was a child. I am now 32. I don't remember wearing them, but they are in all of the pics of me when I was a tot. I wore these special shoes to correct the direction my foot would turn when I walked. I only wore them for a brief time. I'm sure your ped will set you in the right direction.
She'll be fine.

I have seen this before. A brace for a bit and then everything should be okay. It is so great that you are being proactive about it. If you don't "fix" things when they are young, it is a whole different situation later in life.

Unless the doc gives you some other answers, I found that my daughter did the same thing with her foot when she walked 'assisted'-- when she didn't have her full weight on her feet, she would move her feet weird or tip toe. Once she had to walk on her own and support her full weight, she found out that walking on flat feet made it easier to balance. Hope it turns out OK!

Hi,

This sounds a bit similar to my daughter's condition, so I hope I can help, though I must add that DHH may play some factor in this. I have no experience with DHH, but my daughter started out walking bow-legged (a seperate condition which cleared up by itself) and also turning her feet in (the right more than the left if I recall). After an X-ray, it was found that she had femural aversion, which means that the head (or top)of her thigh bone was a bit rotated, causing her to turn her foot inward while walking. She was 2 at that time, and the doctor recommended no therapy or braces. About 4 months later we had her X-rayed again and she had improved sufficiently so that the orthpedic doctor was no longer concerned.

I searched a lot on the Interent and exchanged emails with a few other doctors when she was first dianosed. I found that in the US, doctors have long ago moved away from the use of braces as this problem often corrects itself. Rarely, and in severe cases, do doctors operate, but if I recell, those children often have other difficulties. Also this problem is a very common one.

So, my advise to you is don't worry. Give her some time, see what the doctor says, and also because your daughter is only beginning to walk, it may take care of itself.

Hi J.,
I'm not sure what they do now but my daughter is now 26.
When she was 2 months old, I noticed her foot turned in.
The doctor sent me to Tufts Medical in Boston.
They put this tiny cast on her foot, which had to be changed every two weeks. Yes, they sawed the darn thing off.
She had the cast on until she was about 7 months and she began to walk with this thing...then she had corrective shoes and I believe she walked better than any baby around. She walk alone at 9 months.
Today her foot is as straight as can be!!!
Glad we caught it early and I think that is the key.
Good Luck,
S.

Hi my daughter has the same thing and when I brought it to my pedi she said it will turn out on there on - they don't use braces any more. I had so many people commenting on it so I decided to bring her to the orthopedist( not a child one) who said the same(she was 15mos) I am still concerned so I am bringing her to a chilrens orthopedist to see what they say. If I were you I would bring your daughter to a childrens orthopedist just to be on the safe side. Maybe they have excersizes to do if not they brace that is what I am hoping for(not the brace) Good luck

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