Is Your Child "Pigeon Toed"??

Updated on July 12, 2010
N.A. asks from Bonney Lake, WA
11 answers

My little girl just turned three and she is pigeon toed. She goes in for her 3yr well check this week, and like at her previous visit, I was told that it was caused because of the way she was in my belly, and that it's her femer's (sp?) that's causing this and that "she'll out grow it". She can run, but when she does, you can see her little hips moving side to side...and she does tend to trip alot over those extra toes in her way when she runs.

Is this typically the case?? Will she grow out of it? Or should I be pushing to have her seen by another doctor to see if she needs therapy or braces perhaps?

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answers from Anchorage on

My sister was, and spent several months as a baby in a cast from her hips downs. It did correct it, but that was 30 years ago and I think they would consider casting extreme today.

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answers from Johnstown on

One of our twins is fairly pigeon toed, yet at times she'll correct it on her own. I did bring this to our ped's attention at her kdg physical. Our ped checked her out and said that her leg and foot are both straight, but that the issue is stemming from the way she sits on the floor. She mentioned that when children sit in what's called the 'tv position' (sitting on your knees, but with the lower part of your legs out to each side), it tends to cause them to have the whole pigeon toe effect. I would talk to a dr about your little one just to be on the safe side. It's something that can be corrected fairly easy, you want to have it done sooner rather than later, especially if she's not able to run properly...she's just not able to enjoy life to the fullest right now. Best of luck to you!

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answers from Atlanta on

My kids aren't pigeon-toed, but I am! And yes, it's caused by the way I was in utero. My actual hip and femur turns in, but there are a few different types of being "pigeon toed." She will most likely grow out of it depending on what type she has. As you grow up, you learn to walk straight and stand straight most of the time. When I'm really tired, my feet start turning in -particularly my right foot -and I also find myself standing with them turning in when tired. No matter what, when I lie down or sit with my legs straight out in front of me, my feet turn in if relaxed. This has never caused me any problems, and I wore ugly corrective shoes for several years as a child that did NOTHING but make my outfits look ugly! She'll most likely get a bit less klutzy -although I've always been a klutz! Many studies show that pigeon-toed people actually run a bit faster than most. It will not harm her in any way -and for the most part -it will resolve itself.

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answers from Spokane on

My 2 yr old daughter is pigeon toed and like you our Dr. told us it is caused by "sitting on them for 9 months, in the womb". The Dr. stripped her down to her diaper and watched her walk and assured me that she would outgrow it...I asked at her 1 yr check up (she walked at 8 mos) and at her 2 yr check up. My MIL was not satisfied w/this and told me in her day 1 of her kids had to have braces to correct it, and strongly encouraged me to get a 2nd opinion. I brought this up to the Dr. and he told me he totally understands the need for 2nd opinions when treatment for these things change from generation to generation but he again assured me that the research has shown that for what she has (has a name, I forgot it) braces or corrective shoes are not necessary...he was very nice and gave me a referral to Shriners Hospital, which was supposed to be the place to go for this, and then explained exactly what they would tell me...which in a nut shell would be to "wait and see"....guess what? After the months of waiting for an appt. and then finally seeing the specialist, I was told exactly what my Dr. told me!

At least I appeased my MIL...although she is not fully satisfied, but I feel better knowing I did all I could. So, we are waiting and this point it does appear to be getting a little bit better, but still not perfect and we do not go back for the follow up at Shriners for another 6 we'll see!

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and it seems that your Dr. and my Dr. are working from the same play book:)



answers from Wichita Falls on

My daughter was pigeon toed and the doctors kept saying she would grow out of it....and she did!



answers from Johnson City on

I was severely pigeon toed as a young child (my mother was as well). I never had braces like my mother did and eventually i grew out of it. Mine was due to congenital hip dysplasia.



answers from Chicago on

My niece is pigeon toed. Normally, the kids will outgrow it. My niece's issue though is in her hips so she will need a brace and possibly surgery to correct it when she is older.



answers from Portland on

I am pigeon toed and wore the brace with a bar as an infant and corrective shoes in about 5th grade. They were not effective for the most part. I was a klutz until about age 11 then started to 'outgrow' it. I still walk slightly pigeon toed and my left is worse than my right. As another poster said, it mostly shows up when I'm tired or sitting completely relaxed. I never connected hip problems with the pigeon toe and am going to ask my doctor the next time I see him. I'm in my early 40's and have had hip pain/problems for about 15 years and don't know why. This could be the connection. If the doctor says it's ok to wait then don't worry too much. Why pay for expensive shoes that hurt to wear if you don't need them? Good luck.



answers from Austin on

I was pigeon toed as a child. I remember wearing shoes hooked to a bar on my crib when I slept. I think that and the ballet lessons I had as a child are the reasons I no longer am. I had a neighbor that never had the problem fixed, and as a child I remember watching him walk, thankful that I wasn't like that. I vote for a second opinion and maybe, if she's interested, in ballet. It taught me grace and posture as well. I can't ever regret that.



answers from Seattle on

Hi there,
I was told the same thing as you and several other commenters. My son is nearly 3 and has always had feet turned in, on one side in particular. His doctor, and the bone doctor at Seattle Children's who we were referred to gave us the same info: the braces of a generation ago were shown to correct the problem 90% of the time, which is the exact same correction rate for doing nothing at all. Basically, 90% of kids grow out of it without intervention and braces don't improve the odds. The 10% who don't outgrow it end up a little pigeon toed, which is not (in the Dr's opinions and also mine) enough of a chance or enough of a terrible problem to warrant breaking the bones and surgically straightening them. The Dr at Children's joked that the fastest sprinters are pigeon toed :) Not what you or I want t hear, but as I understand it, waiting it out is really the way to go. Best of luck!



answers from Dallas on

My son (20 mos) is pigeon toed. Our doctor told up to make him sit on his bottom instead of his knees. He says this will help make the hip bones rotate more. Since we started correcting the way he naturally wants to sit. It seems he is less pigeon toed and his legs are starting to straighten out. It's a simple thing, but might help.

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