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news Thursday, October 29, 2020 Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:46 AM - Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:46 AM

Will my child grow out of it?

Information about common orthopaedic conditions

Will my child grow out of it?

Intoeing, flat feet, knock knees, flat feet and toewalking are very common in children.

Often these conditions resolve on their own, but sometimes further evaluation is required to see if treatment and follow-up is needed.

If you have concerns about your child, call Shriners Children’s Twin Cities to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric orthopaedic specialists at 612-596-6105.

Frequently asked questions:

1. Why do my baby's feet turn in?

Toeing in can come from the foot, the lower leg or the hip. Each of these conditions has a different cause, and improves over time in almost all cases.

The most common causes are:

Infants – Hooked forefoot
Toddlers –
Twist in the tibia or "shin bone"
Preschoolers –
Twist in the thigh bone near the hip

Hooked forefoot

A turned-in position of the front of the foot in relation to the rest of the foot is the most common cause of intoeing in the infant. This condition can affect one or both feet.

  • Usually a C-shape to the outside of the foot
  • Sometimes an increased space between the big toe and the second toe
  • Usually present at birth, and may be related to intrauterine positioning
  • Treatment can include observation, stretching and/or serial casting

Twist in the thigh bone near the hip

An inward twisting of the top part of the femur (thigh bone) is the most common cause of intoeing in preschoolers and school-age children.

  • When standing, both feet and knees turn inward
  • Usually occurs in both legs, and is more common in girls
  • Usually lasts from about 3 to 8 years of age
  • Treatment is usually observation, and rarely, surgery

2. Why is my baby bowlegged?

Children’s legs normally go through a period of being bowlegged. Orthopaedic evaluation is recommended if they are severe, get worse, develop after 5 years of age, involve only one leg, are in combination with severe intoeing or if the child is very short.

  • Symmetrical outward bowing of both knee joints
  • Frequently present at birth
  • Higher incidence in early ambulators and heavier children
  • Improves spontaneously in 18 to 24 months

3. Why is my child knock kneed?

Many children also go through a period of knock knees. Knock knees spontaneously improve almost all of the time. Orthopaedic evaluation is recommended if they are severe, get worse, involve only one leg, if the child is very short or has a history of injury to the knees.

  • With knees together, open space between ankle joints
  • Usually lasts from about 18 months to 3 or 4 years of age
  • Mild knock knee is normal in adults

4. Why are my child’s feet flat?

In flat feet there is a loss of the normal arches of the foot. Most flat feet are painless and cause no interference with growth or physical activities. Orthopaedic evaluation is recommended if the feet are painful or lack full motion.

  • No space between floor and arch of the inside of the foot
  • Often accompanies looseness in other joints, such as knees and elbows
  • Normal in 25% of adults

5. Why does my child walk on their toes?

Toewalking is common in toddlers, but if persistent beyond age 3 it is suspicious for an underlying neuromuscular problem.

  • Usually lasts from about 3 to 24 months of age
  • Often accompanies looseness in other joints, such as knees and elbows
  • May resolve without any treatment but some children may require casting, bracing, and rarely, surgery

Lower extremity conditions