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 Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years

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PostSubject: Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years   Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2011 7:23 am

Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years GaitAbnormalities

Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years

Whether your baby rises from a crawl with a shaky first step or a
full-on sprint across the living room, chances are you'll be on the edge
of your seat. But remember — a child's first steps usually aren't
picture perfect.

Learning to walk takes time and practice, and it's common for kids to
start walking with their toes and feet turned at an angle. When feet
turn inward — a tendency referred to as walking "pigeon-toed" — doctors
call it in-toeing. When feet point outward, it's called out-toeing.

It can be upsetting to see your child develop an abnormal gait, but
for most toddlers with in-toeing or out-toeing, it's usually nothing to
worry about. The conditions do not cause pain and usually improve as
kids grow older.

Almost all healthy kids who toe-in or -out as toddlers learn to run,
jump, and play sports as they grow up, just the same as kids without
gait problems.

In-toeing and Out-toeing

Most toddlers toe-in or -out because of a slight rotation, or twist, of the upper or lower leg bones.

Tibial torsion, the most common cause of in-toeing,
occurs when the lower leg bone (tibia) tilts inward. If the tibia tilts
outward, a child will toe-out. When the thighbone, or femur, is tilted,
the tibia will also turn and give the appearance of in-toeing or
out-toeing. The medical term for this is femoral anteversion. In-toeing can also be caused by metatarsus adductus, a curvature of the foot that causes toes to point inward.

The reason some kids develop gait abnormalities and others don't is
unclear, but many experts think that a family history of in-toeing or
out-toeing plays a role. So, if you toed-in or -out as a child, there's a
chance that your child could develop the same tendency. Additionally, a
cramping of the fetus in the womb during pregnancy could also have led
to in-toeing or out-toeing.

As a fetus grows, some of the bones have to rotate slightly to fit
into the small space of the womb. In many cases, these bones are still
rotated to some degree for the first few years of life. Many times this
is most noticeable when a child learns to walk, because if the tibia or
femur is tilted at an angle, the feet are, too.Does Walking Improve?

As most kids get older, their bones very gradually rotate to a normal
angle. Walking, like other skills, improves with experience, so kids
will become better able to control their muscles and foot position.

In-toeing and out-toeing gets better over time, but the change occurs
very gradually. And, it's hard to notice. Therefore, doctors often
recommend using video clips to help parents track improvement. Parents
can record their child walking, and then wait about a year to take
another video. This usually makes it easy to see if the gait abnormality
has improved over time. In most cases, it has. If not, parents should
speak with their child's doctor to discuss whether treatment is

In the past, special shoes and braces were used to treat gait
abnormalities. However, doctors found that these didn't make in-toeing
or out-toeing disappear any faster, so they're rarely used anymore.

If Walking Does Not Improve

Speak with your doctor if you're concerned about the way your child
walks. For a small number of kids, gait abnormalities can be associated
with other problems. For example, out-toeing could signal a
neuromuscular condition in rare cases.

Have your child evaluated by a doctor if you notice:

  • in-toeing or out-toeing that doesn't improve by age 3
  • limping or complaints of pain
  • one foot that turns out more than the other
  • developmental delays, such as not learning to talk as expected
  • gait abnormalities that worsen instead of improve

The doctor can then decide if more specialized exams or testing
should be done to make sure that your child gets the proper care.

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PostSubject: Re: Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years   Gait Abnormalities During the Toddler Years Icon_minitimeThu Jun 02, 2011 4:21 pm

thanks boss


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