Daughter's Foot Turning Out

Updated on May 12, 2011
N.L. asks from Arlington, MA
10 answers

My 14-month-old is still not walking unassisted, and when she does walk (either with my help or pushing her little cart), her right foot often turns out at almost a 90-degree angle. It doesn't always, but I'd say maybe 60-70% of the time, and sometimes she kind of drags it behind her. I know it's not super late to not be walking at this point, but I am starting to get a little bit nervous, and my mother mentioned that my uncle had some kind of problem with his hips as a baby and had to wear a brace at night.

I should also mention that rather than crawling, she typically has this strange scooting maneuver where she sits on her butt and uses one foot and the other knee to propel herself forward. The foot she's using is the one that turns out, and she also turns it out when doing the scoot. So I can only assume it's a result of doing this for months, but then I wonder if it's maybe a symptom of a problem, rather than a cause.

At any rate, I'm wondering if I should contact my daughter's pediatrician now, rather than waiting another month for our 15 month well visit. Any thoughts?

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So What Happened?

I ended up waiting until her 15 month visit, and her doctor said she couldn't really see much of a problem, but gave me the number of a pediatric specialist to call just in case, since it was only affecting one foot. But she said it looked like my daughter was perfectly capable of walking and just wasn't motivated to do so. Anyway, right after that, it started looking like she was going to walk very soon, so I held off on calling the specialist for a week, and sure enough, she started walking. I can barely see the foot turning out at all any more. I'm going to have her doctor take another look at her 18 month visit, but it seems to have sorted itself out. Thanks for the advice, everybody!

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answers from Chicago on

I am in the same boat. My son is 16 months old. Finally taking longer steps independently! You DD is still learning her legs and balance. I would not be concerned until 18 months if she is not walking indpendently. My son's left leg shot out to the left as we assisted. It is getting much better as he takes more steps on his own...

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answers from Detroit on

she may be slew footed. everyone in my family is slewfoot! lol my uncle has it real bad he too has a right foot that is almost at a 90 degree angle. it is a genetic thing(ours comes from our grandfathers side) but it;s still nothing wrong with getting it checked out just to be safe. good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

We had the opposite problem, ie. my youngest daughter was intoeing due to hyperflexibility in her hips and in her knees. We live in CT so we took her to the Pediatric Orthopedics Department at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. There we got really good advice on how to help her and proceed with treatment.

If you have a Children's Medical Center in your state, call their Pediatric Orthopedics Department for an appointment.

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answers from Dallas on

If it were me, I would wait. 14 months is pretty young to be jumping to conclusions about stuff like that. If she's been scooting all this time relying on that foot she may be relying more heavily on that foot and that's why she's turning it out. It will take a few months for her muscles to change.

However my nephew did have a hip thing- but the end result was still the same- it worked itself out over time.

Good luck!



answers from Norfolk on

My daughter, now 3, was in exactly the same situation at exactly the same age. With the caveat, of course, that every child is different, let me share our experience:
My son walked at 10 months, and as my daughter passed that 10-month mark, I thought "Geez, is this child EVER going to walk?" Then, when she did start walking at around 15 months, her left foot dragged behind her. When she stood, her right foot would be flat on the floor and her left foot would be kind of crooked and only the ball of the foot would rest on the floor. My mom wanted us to take her to the doctor, but my husband and I are "wait and see, it'll all work out" types so we said no, we won't do that. She certainly wasn't in any discomfort or pain, she just dragged that foot. That went on for about 3 months or so. Then it just started getting less and less. She still was a tiptoe walker for awhile, especially on that foot. But now there is no evidence of any foot dragging or turning outward, none at all. She runs, she jumps, everything is fine. Hope that sets your mind at ease.



answers from Boston on

is she very flexible? My 16 mo old daughter is very flexible and she has one foot that turns out. I read in books that it can be flexibility and that they will grow into it and the foot should straighten out over time. i called the drs office and talked with a nurse who confirmed this. She said the time to get checked is when it does not turn back in at all, sit her down with legs out straight and rotate her feet/legs, if they move freely she is fine, if a leg is difficult to turn then have her looked at.


answers from Norfolk on

Kids figure out all kinds of ways to move and stand as they develop and find stances that are more or less stable for awhile before moving on to something else.
Right now, it's more important that she's moving at all vs how she moves.
Enjoy it now because by 2 or 3 yrs old, they get so fast you can't catch them anymore.
I wouldn't worry about moving her Dr appt up by one month but there's no harm in bringing up your concerns when you do go.



answers from Portland on

Having her foot turn out this amount certainly could be an indication of hip displacement. I would not wait to have her seen. I would call the pediatrician, explain what you said here, now. He may directly refer you to a specialist without seeing her himself.



answers from Boston on

The turning of your daughter's foot is a direct result of her manner of crawling. It is also a sign her developmental has not unfolded in the typical sequence and she may be at risk of retaining primitive reflexes.

I am a practitioner of neurological reorganization and founded a charitable organization called Active Healing, Inc. If you are interested I can perform a couple of free services for you which would allow me to tell you in greater detail what is going on for your daughter.

Free 1/2 developmental screenings via Skype. Just email me and we can set-up a time.

Virtual screenings on Active Healing's facebook page here

Your daughter's pediatrician may take a wait and see approach, but there are some simple things you could do right now to help.

In health,
S. L. G., Jr.
Exec. Director
Active Healing, Inc.
[email protected]____.com


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, take her to the doctor!

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