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‘Pigeon-toeing’ in children.

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Also called In-toeing

In-toeing is when your child’s foot points inward instead of straight ahead when he or she runs or walks. For most toddlers, in-toeing is painless and mild in-towing can be normal. In-toeing can come from the toes turning in, or a rotation in the shin bone or the thigh bone.  In-toeing usually improves as children grow. Most children with in-toeing learn to walk, run, and play sports just like children whose feet point straight ahead.

What causes it?

In-toeing can happens because the bones in the leg turn inward. The three parts of the leg that can be rotated inward are the thighbone (femur), the shin bone (tibia), and the foot. This may run in families.

Most children have no pain or functional problems.  Frequently, families notice that the child stands, walks, or runs with the feet point inward.  Sometimes it will be noted that children who in-toe are clumsy and trip over their own feet.


Your physiotherapist will take a thorough history, especially regarding birth history and developmental milestones. Any history of pain or limping should be discussed. The physical exam will include watching your child walk and run, and checking range of motion of the hips, knees, ankles, and feet. He or she will also do a neurologic examination to check muscle tightness, nerve / muscle function, and coordination. He or she will also note whether your child has femoral anteversion, tibial torsion, or metatarsus adductus.

Book an appointment for a Physiotherapy assessment today to see if you are concerned about your child’s in-toeing.

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