Pigeon Toed May Be Fashionable for Shoes, but Not for Feet

Every February, New York Fashion Week in New York City brings strange new trends for the people of Columbus and the world to be entertained by. One strange fashion presented at a previous fashion week took the term “pigeon toed” literally by having real stuffed birds positioned as if they were sitting on top of the foot. As a shoe trend, “pigeon toed” may be stylish, but when seen as a walking pattern in children, parents should contact their podiatrist for a checkup as soon as possible.

Kid feet are not simply smaller versions of adult feet. The bones in the legs and feet of a small child are still developing and can sometimes take on an appearance that would be abnormal for an adult, but is normal for a kid. For example, infants can have flat arches that would be abnormal for an adult, but are normal for a for certain periods of childhood development. Walking with the toes turned in toward the midline of the body is the walking pattern commonly referred to as being “pigeon toed” or “in-toeing” and can appear and spontaneously resolve in some children, while in others can be a major cause for concern.

Being pigeon-toed can represent bone deformity in the feet, tibia (or shin bone), or hip. When the foot bones are involved, the condition is typically called “metatarsus adductus”. The metatarsal bones at the base of each toe develop angled toward the midline of the body, commonly as a result of the child’s position while developing in the mother. Treatment can be highly successful if the condition is caught before the infant is two years of age using a series of casts to properly re-align the bones. Custom shoes and orthotics may also be used. When the tibia or hip is rotated towards the midline of the body causing the feet to also appear “pigeon toed” casting or surgery may also be needed as treatment. For all of these conditions, the earlier a parent notices the problem and contacts their podiatrist, the more treatment options will be available. Take care of your little ones’ feet beginning before they begin walking and they can avoid being pigeon toed for a life that will hopefully also be free of wearing pigeon high-heels!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia