It is so much fun to watch a child grow and change from baby to toddler to child. They learn to do so much—walking, talking, singing, learning to play games and sports—and they are always on the go. It can be a worrisome time, too, if you think that your child is in some way not “normal.” Take out-toeing, for instance. If your child’s feet point out too much, it can be hard for them to run and play normally.
Many times issues like toeing out take care of themselves. Is there anything you can do to help the process along? Doctors and pediatricians tried for many years to do just that. Some would put the baby’s feet in shoes connected by a metal bar during sleep time. Others would try physical therapy stretches and exercises, and still others used chiropractic manipulations. Unfortunately, none of these methods seem to make much difference to the way a child’s legs grow.
So what can you do? Mainly, keep a watchful eye. It helps if you take some video clips of your child’s movements at periodic intervals. You see them every day and may not notice the gradual changes, but documenting them digitally will help you see whether the condition is improving, staying the same, or getting worse.
Make sure your son or daughter gets adequate nutrition and lots of activity to help build strong bones. Over time, the muscles will grow stronger and the bones will harden, and the brain, nervous system and muscles will mature and be better able to control the legs in a way that results in the most efficient movement.
If the gait problems persist and cause difficulties, your child may be one of the rare ones who needs surgical correction for out-toeing. It is not normally attempted until the child is at least ten years old, and carries some risks. We can answer your questions about the procedure and help you weigh the pros and cons to make a good decision.
Please call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center at (303) 423-2520 any time you have concerns about your child’s foot health. Our dedicated staff stands ready to give the care your son or daughter needs to be able to run, play normally, and enjoy a full and active life.