If you notice your kids feet turn outward instead of straight forward, they may have what's known as out-toeing in children. Also called duck-feet, this condition can lead to pain and a possible disability as the child develops into an adult. However, according to our experienced Grapevine podiatrist, while that is possible, out-toeing generally corrects itself and is rarely serious.
Causes of Out-Toeing in Children
Out-toeing can be seen in toddlers when they begin to walk or in children or adolescents. Some causes of out-toeing in children include:
- Family history
- Fetal position in the womb
- Being flat footed
- Bone deformity
- Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
Symptoms of Out-Toeing
There are several symptoms of out-toeing in children that include:
- Waddle walk. When a child has out-toeing, they appear to waddle when they walk.
- Foot position. A child’s feet with out-toeing will point outward instead of straight forward. Their knees may also point outward.
- Shoes. A child with out-toeing may wear out their shoes on the outer edges. There may also be scuff marks on the outside edges of the shoes as well.
A child with out-toeing typically is not in discomfort or pain, and out-toeing does not affect the ability to walk.
Out-Toeing Treatment Options
After being evaluated by a Grapevine pdoiatrist, out-toeing treatment options will be discussed based on your child’s situation. Much like pediatric intoeing, out-toeing responds well to at-home treatments and is rarely serious. Some treatment options for out-toeing in children include:
- Monitoring. For children under the age of six, most doctors recommend waiting and watching if the child outgrows the condition. Most cases of out-toeing resolve themselves by the time a child is eight.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises can often help to retrain the legs and feet. Therapy can also help reduce tightness in the hips.
- Surgery. In more severe cases that do not respond to at-home care, surgery with a specialist Grapevine podiatrist may be needed.
When to See a Grapevine Podiatrist
If your child begins to experience sudden pain when walking, you can consult with a Grapevine podiatrist who can evaluate the condition. Some other reasons to contact your doctor include:
- Not walking as expected for age
- One foot is turned outward more than the other
- Problems with gait that are worsening
Call Us With Questions
If your child is experiencing pain in their feet or ankles or you have questions about out-toeing in children, contact our experienced Grapevine podiatrist. To request an appointment at one of our Tarrant County offices, fill out our convenient online contact form, or call our office today.