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Out toeing

Out-toeing is typically a rotational deformity of the leg. The bones that form the leg are rotated externally (outwards) and therefore the feet do the same. A child that out-toes will have feet that point outwards. If your child out-toes and you would like them assessed to see if treatment would be suitable, visit At we assess and diagnose a number of paediatric conditions affecting the leg and foot.

What is out-toeing in children?

Out-toeing is a descriptive term that is used when the position of a child's foot means that the feet and toes point in an outward direction. Many children that out-toe will also have bowed legs. Out-toeing is what is known as a rotational deformity, this means that the out-toed position of the foot is due to the rotated position of either the femur (thigh bone) or the tibia (the shin bone). Most children who out-toe will remain out-toed in adulthood and do not require treatment. In extreme cases surgery may be required.

What causes out-toeing in children?

Out-toeing in children is common, particularly among toddlers for who it is a normal stage of development. Out-toeing in the majority of cases occurs as a result of rotation of either the thigh bone or the shin bone. Occasionally out-toeing is caused by a condition called developmental dysplasia of the hip, especially if only one foot is in an out-toed position. If one foot is out-toed it is vital that this is assessed to determine whether developmental dysplasia of the hip is the cause of your child's out-toeing so that future problems are prevented.

What are the signs and symptoms of out-toeing in children?

The most obvious sign that a child out-toes is visual; the child's feet will point outwards. Other signs vary depending on the severity but may include difficulty walking and/or running and 'tripping'.

How is out-toeing in children diagnosed?

Out-toeing is easily diagnosed at based on the physical appearance of the feet. Tests can be done in order to establish if the cause of the rotation is the femur or the shin bone, or developmental dysplasia of the hip. The severity of the out-toeing can also be assessed.

Benefits of podiatry for a child that out-toes

The benefits of podiatry for a child that out-toes are:

  • An accurate diagnosis
  • Advice and education
  • Treatment when appropriate
  • Referral when appropriate

Treatment is not usually required unless pain or problems with gait occur. Prescription orthoses may benefit children whose out-toeing is a result of poor foot mechanics.

What would podiatry for my child's out-toeing involve?

If your child is out-toeing and you would like advice or reassurance, then visit Each initial consultation begins with a thorough medical history, a history of the problem, any symptoms experienced, and the impact the condition is having on the child. To assess the mechanics of your child's leg and foot a Biomechanical assessments is required. The biomechanical assessment assesses the root cause of the out-toeing and includes a gait analysis. Not all cases of out-toeing are treatable, those that are may benefit from Orthoses . Severe cases of out-toeing may require surgery.


Out-toeing in children refers to the position of the feet when either one or both feet pint outwards. If your child has one foot that out-toes it is essential that this is assessed to check for a condition called developmental dysplasia of the hip. Early detection of developmental dysplasia of the hip is essential to prevent problems in the future.

It is not always necessary to treat out-toeing, however in severe cases surgical intervention may be required.

If you would like your child assessed visit At we have podiatrists trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of leg and foot pathologies.

To make an appointment with us at please email or call 0330 088 4222>.

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