Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a pediatric orthopedics consultation suggested if my son is pigeon toed?"
He walks with his toes pointed in. Can this be fixed or will he always walk like this?
Metatarsus adductus (pigeon-toes) is a condition commonly seen in newborns and young children. The toes are twisted inwards compared to the heel. It is common in newborns because the feet are compressed in the womb. Due to greater flexibility at this age, the feet are able to bend into an "unnatural" position. As the child grows and the ligaments and tendons gain more strength, the condition usually improves. In about 15% of cases, the foot will not correct itself. Often a crease will begin to appear across the center of the sole of the foot and a bony prominence will be felt on the outside edge of the foot. This is a typical deformity indicative of a metatarsus adductus that will require treatment. A pediatric orthopedics consult is appropriate for this condition if it has lasted longer than 3 months after birth. Treatment includes stretching exercises, corrective shoes for very minor cases, and serial castings, and corrective bracing for more severe cases. Occasionally, surgery is needed, but this is usually postponed until the child is between 4-6 years old. Generally, the outcome is excellent for the vast majority of patients with this condition. Nearly all have good resolution of their condition. I would suggest a pediatric orthopedist consult in you would like to discuss which option is best for you and your child.
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