New­born Q&A Her legs point out­wards

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents - Shane Hodges Phys­io­ther­a­pist


My baby’s legs turn out­ward, with her toes pointed in­ward. Is there some­thing wrong?


Shane Hodges an­swers: There is noth­ing wrong with your baby. In fact, it’s quite nor­mal. Up to the age of three, chil­dren may have phys­i­o­log­i­cal bow­ing of their legs, other­wise known as pi­geon toes.

The pri­mary fea­tures of this con­di­tion are sym­met­ri­cal and pain­less bow­ing, with as­so­ci­ated in-toe­ing and fre­quent trip­ping over feet. The ma­jor­ity of chil­dren out­grow this with­out any in­ter­ven­tion.

Bowlegs are com­mon be­cause of ba­bies be­ing cramped in the womb, spend­ing a lot of time on some­one else’s back and wear­ing bulky nap­pies. As tod­dlers progress through their phases of devel­op­ment they usu­ally out­grow this.

How­ever, if the bow­ing and in- toe­ing per­sist af­ter three years or are vis­i­bly get­ting worse, speak to your pae­di­a­tri­cian. Fol­low th­ese guide­lines to de­cide whether this is nec­es­sary:

De­vel­op­men­tal mile­stones: Your child is fall­ing be­hind on her mile­stones, and has bowlegs and in-toe­ing. Asym­me­try and pain: If the bow­ing is vis­i­bly more curved in one leg than it is the other it may in­di­cate Blount’s dis­ease. This can be treated with a brace.

Also con­sider as­sess­ment by a pae­di­a­tri­cian if your child com­plains of any pain in her back or leg joints. Flex­i­bil­ity: When your child is ly­ing on her back, can you move the foot into a neu­tral po­si­tion with min­i­mal difficulty? If so, it is likely that you have noth­ing to worry about.

If you find the foot is stiff and does not move eas­ily, there may be a prob­lem. YB

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