My Sons Right Foot Is Turned in When He walks....what Should I Do???

Updated on February 17, 2010
H.S. asks from Milwaukee, WI
22 answers

My son is a year and a half, and when he walks his right foot is turned in. When I was younger my parents told me that I was also pigeon toed but not as bad as Keagan, my son. I am so worried! I have no idea what to do, I have looked it up and one website says don't worry about it, another says I need to buy a brace, then I have my husband in my hear saying that we don't need to take him to the doctor and I have my friends mom , who is a RN, saying I need to get him checked out FOR a brace! SOME ONE PLEASE HELP ME!

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answers from Minneapolis on

My son's feet pointed out and a chiropractor really helped. It was painless and quickly effective. (I have also overheard the chiro recommend seeing another type of doctor depending on the type of issue.)

Besides the pediatric orthopedist, I'd find a competent chiropractor for a consult as well.



answers from Des Moines on

My daughter's foot did the same thing. I took her into the pediatrician, who said that he won't even look at it until she was out of diapers, because diapers can interfere with how they walk, and so they can't make a determination of the problem until they are done with diapers. By the time she was out of diapers, her problem had improved, and she hasn't needed any farther medical intervention. My suggestion is that you wait until he is potty trained, and then take him to his pediatrician, and see what he/she thinks.

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answers from Sheboygan on

I am a pediatric Physical THerapist. There are several things that make a foot turn it--it could be foot issues, it could be that the tibia (shin bone) is actually rotated, or it could be coming from the hip! Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a PEDIATRIC orthopedist--they will be able to determine where the turning in is coming from and what course of action is recommended based on that! Many times it is a "wait and see". I see you are in Milwaukee--Children's Hospital has several good pediatric orthopedists!

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answers from Huntington on

I have a lil brother that this happend to an my mother never did anything about it. He is now 18 and they told him he needs to have surgery to correct bc we found out that the turning in the foot caused his one leg to be shorter thn the other and this causes him to have back pain..The surgery will put him n a wheelchair for a yr so he wont have it done...but the dr said that if my mother intervened at a early age the surgery would have been prevented dont hesitate and gtet this checked asap

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answers from Des Moines on

try chiropractic. my husband is a chiropractor and has been able to help a lot of children! it could be as simple as a rotation of the hip or pain while walking due to something needing a few adjustments. it is always great to try the least invasive treatment and resort to braces and surgeries (worst case scenario) if other things don't work. good luck! (i actually know some chiropractors in your area, if you would like a referral).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Most people's feet point straight ahead or outward. In some people, however, the feet point inward. This is called intoeing (say "in-toe-ing"), or "pigeon toes." Intoeing is very common in young children. Most of the time, intoeing goes away without any treatment at all. In a few children, it doesn't get better on its own and must be treated. Children may have a severe twist in the tibia (leg bone) or femur (thigh bone), which might bother them because it looks bad. Sometimes this problem requires surgery. There are three causes of intoeing in healthy children. They are metatarsus adductus, internal tibial torsion, and excessive femoral anteversion. Ask your son's pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric orthopedist. If your son does have a serious condition, it is better to have it treated now than wait until he is older!

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answers from Boston on

check with your Dr. My son was ding toed/pigeon towed and had really bowed legs. He is now 2 1/2 and he grew out of it. Our Dr's advice was to have him in socks or barefoot as much as possible, shoes help nothing. Also to correct the way he sat on the floor while playing. He tended to sit as if kneeling but with his feed spread out to the sides. (kind of hard to describe) Best advice, don't panic and check it out. Fortunately as Mom's we tend to worry when there is no need. Good luck.



answers from Madison on

Why not check with your pediatrician? I was worried about my son and had the ped. check him out. Helped ease my mind,



answers from Tulsa on

My grandson's feet do this too. The Pediatrician wasn't concerned but we were. We asked for a referral to a foot doctor and took him. He got molded insoles that are shaped to his feet, we got good recommendations about what type of shoes to put on him, and he gave us exercises to do on his hips when changing his diapers that we continue to do everytime we can get him to lay down.

The shoes:
Shoes that cannot twist back and forth. If you hold the heel in one hand and the toe in the other and can twist it back and forth then the shoe isn't strong enough, not enough support. Also, higher top shoes like little hiking boots give supprot to the ankles. But they can't hit in the wrong spot and make blisters. So, good strong support shoes. We currently have him in short black boots from Wal-Mart that lace up and have 5 or 6 eyelets.

The exercises:
When laying on his back we spread his knees out with his feet together, the palms of his feet touching. We stretch the knees out as far as comfortable but still keep his feet touching. This stretches out the hip joint and that is usually where the turning in starts. It just continues down the leg.

The doctor won't do anything more invasive at this time. Their bones are still forming and it's not time yet.



answers from Rapid City on

my granddaughter also had a foot that turned in.. actually both feet did, one more noticiable then the other. Her doctor told us to put the shoes on the wrong feet and we did that for a bit but she hated it and had a hard time walking in them. We took her to a foot doctor who said that it is from seating with the feet behind them like a W. We stopped her from doing that and it has helped her alot. She is 3 now and I think it is pretty much corrected. The foot doctor also said that younger childrens shoes have to soft of a soul to do good to switch them, that it is something to do with a muscle that goes from the hip to the foot that causes it.



answers from Duluth on

One of my daughters was like that and I put her shoes on the wrong feet until she outgrew those ones and it really helped. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on

Have your pediatrician look at it, the will check that there is no bone type issue. It is usually part of their regular check up, but just bring it up when you go in next. If you aren't scheduled for an 18 month checkup, just make an appt. It will ease your worries if there is not an issue. And if there is, it is better to take care of it as soon as possible. My son also had the same with both feet and went away on its own I think it was after he was 2. Either way, this is something that can be fixed whether on its own or with some medical attention and will soon be behind you.


answers from Spokane on

I live in WA state and my daughter is the same way. My MIL urged me to get her checked out so it could be fixed...I took her to the Dr. and they watched her walk with only a diaper on and he said she only has a mild case (looks way more than mild to us but whatever) and that they no longer do the braces or special shoes, like they did back in the day...generally speaking, because they have learned that for the most part, the kids just grow out of it. Dr. said that babies sit on their legs for 9 months and that it just takes some time...which makes sense to me.

You can always bring it up at your next well child check-up (saving some $) and see what your Dr. thinks.

Our Dr. said that the best specialist in our town is Shriner's hospital and he was happy to give me a referral if I wanted BUT that he guarantees that we would be told to give it a few months and that they would just watch it and reevaluate at a later date. We opted to just believe our pediatrician and my daughter is getting better...hope some of this helps.

Asking the Dr. gave me and me peace of mind...and got my MIL off my back!



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter had this slightly when she was younger and a couple places I researched for info said to switch shoes when she wears them. Meaning, put the left shoe on the right foot and vice versa. It said over time it helps to correct the problem. It looked funny, but it seemed to help. Now she is back wearing them the "normal" way. Hers wasn't anything major, but definitely noticeable.



answers from Duluth on

i had this issue when i was a kid too, as did my husband. with my husband (who was born in '77) they did braces, which were horrible you know? with me, (i was born in '83) they told my parents to purposly put my shoes on the wrong feet. i remember my dad was good at reminding me to stop walking toeing in LOL. now, today, i dont know if i have a toe in or not (its not bad if i do) and it doesnt really affect me.

so you can try putting his shoes on the wrong feet; perhaps only when hes at home or something if you feel uncomfortable doing it in public. OR you could do it all the time and just tell people that hes putting on his own shoes and wants them that way. LOL

anyway good luck.


answers from Dallas on

I would go with a pediatric physical therapist. I don't know about your state, but ours has free early childhood intervention for children ages 0-3. You might check into that.



answers from Charlotte on

H., you need an orthopedist specialist to address this issue. Make sure he or she has pediatric patients in their practice, not just adults. The sooner you do this, the more chance he has of walking normally when he grows up. I had to wear orthopedic shoes - they were ugly and I cried about it. My mom asked me if I wanted to wear beautiful high heels like hers when I grew up, and I said yes. She told me that if I wore these shoes now to help my feet, then I'd be able to wear lovely shoes without walking pigeon-toed. That helped me. (Of course, your son won't wear high heels, but you can try a different approach with him.)

Not to worry you too much, but I'm still pigeon-toed, just not to the extent that I would be if I hadn't had the help. Perhaps we didn't start me early enough, or perhaps the way they did things 45 years ago wasn't as good as now. Early intervention really is key, though.

Good luck,



answers from Minneapolis on

Please take him to the doctor.

We can't tell you what is up with your child's foot, but the doctor can. Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's a little something, but either way, you will be able to deal with it.



answers from Sacramento on

if you dont have insurance (or even if you do!) find where the nearest Shriner's Hospital is to you and go. everything is free. they are experts and do fantastic work. dont be put off by the other poster saying they will just tell you to wait and see. they will do a complete evaluation including xrays and then advise you. only if the situation truly is a wait and see will they tell you to wait and see! my son has been going to shriners since he was two weeks old. we only go once a year now, but he is covered free of charge until he is 21 yrs old should he require further surgery. he also gets a custom made inner sole lift free of charge every year. if the nearest hospital is a distance from you, they also have housing available. just tell them your needs and they will help the best they can. good luck



answers from Cincinnati on

hi -
there are a number of reasons that can cause this. there are several things you may want to consider - 1) an orthopedic evaluation (by a PEDIATRIC specialist) to rule out hip dislocation, orthopedic condition and then 2) a physical therapy evaluation (again PEDIATRIC). Once any orthopedic issues have been ruled out the PT will be able to assess the cause to his foot turning in - there couple be a number of reasons some of which include a muscle imbalance (muscles that bring the foot in are stronger that the muscles that bring the foot out). they MAY (or may not) suggest a brace - BUT if a brace is recommended definitely get one through a pediatric PT (they have a special understanding of growth and development that an orthopedic person does not) they also measure differently for braces than an orthopedic person. They also may just suggest stretches and strengthening.

hope that helps!



answers from Las Vegas on

hi there
our son does the same thing and I was told that it's because his hips are tight.. yes his hips. have you ever taken a yoga class , if you have one of the MANY things they talk about is tight hips..picture for a minute in your mind's eye your hips being tight, if they are, that would cause misalignment right? if you'll notice, look how many people walk with in their case, their feet out to the side instead of straight forward. so while you son has the opposite problem (his leg turns out) others have the opposite, their legs turn too far outside.
again. i think it all goes back to the hips. now that might sound like too easy of a solution so if you aren't sold on it, it might be good to check with your pediatrician and if the doc says not to worry, consider getting your child into a children/mommy yoga class. they offer them all over the place. I think the yoga teacher will reassure that the hips are tight and can give you some good stretches and poses that you can help your little one's worth a look into. esp as he is getting bigger. Ive' read that the more a child/people sit, the more misaligned they become....... in the United States , this can be seen once the children enter into Kinder.... humans aren't meant to sit so much, but we do.... and because of it... our bodies pay the price...



answers from Des Moines on

You may also check with your local Shriners. If is something they can help him with, they will pay for the brace and doctors at no cost to you.

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