Causes of out-toeing
Paediatric out-toeing can be caused by one or a combination of the conditions outlined below:
External Tibial Torsion
External tibial torsion occurs when the lower leg bone (tibia) is turned excessively outward relative to the knee joint. It is normal to have a little external tibial torsion and most children should ideally walk with their knees straight and feet turned out slightly from the age of 4. However too much external rotation will result in out-toeing or an excessively abducted gait.
External Femoral Torsion
External femoral torsion occurs when the thigh bone (femur) is turned outward relative to the hip joint. This will cause a child’s knees to point outward instead of straight when walking and will likely result in the feet also turning outward causing an out-toeing gait.
Paediatric flat feet
If your child has flat feet then depending on the severity they may also have an abducted or out-toeing gait. When the arch of the foot collapses it causes the midfoot to collapse and the forefoot to abduct (turn out). Therefore the flatter the foot the more likelihood of also noticing an out-toeing gait.
Other factors that may cause out-toeing in combination with the above include:
- Poor postural positions
- Tight muscles
- Low muscle tone
An out-toeing gait or “duck feet” in children is easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne children’s podiatrists, who are experts in children’s foot problems. The cause of your child’s out-toeing can be diagnosed by our podiatrists using computer gait analysis leading to a more successful treatment plan.
Podiatry treatment for out-toeing
The children’s podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in treatment of children’s foot problems including out-toeing. Early treatment at our Melbourne foot clinic will deliver best results for your child.
Podiatry treatment options for out-toeing children include:
Orthotics work by supporting your child’s foot and natural arch, leading to improved foot function. This reduces forefoot abduction, so in cases of out-toeing with associated flat foot deformity an orthotic will improve the angle of gait and your child will walk straighter.
Whilst children’s out-toeing is generally asymptomatic it can lead to flat feet and other related problems so treatment with a children’s podiatrist is highly recommended.