Out-toeing, commonly referred to as having “duck feet”, refers to a condition where one or both feet turn excessively outwards. Out-toeing is the opposite to intoeing and is most commonly seen in young children. Out-toeing can negatively affect the child’s gait and the child may look clumsy when walking and running. Whilst most cases of out-toeing are asymptomatic, excessive rolling in can lead to other lower leg problems later on.
Out-toeing can occur due to bone deformities or movement disorders and, in some cases, can be a combination of both. The three most common causes of out-toeing are due to paediatric flat feet, due to external rotation of the lower leg bone (tibia) and due to external rotation of the thigh bone (femur).
There are a number of other factors that may contribute to out-toeing, and are often combined with the conditions above. These include genetics, poor postural positions, tight muscles or low muscle tone and trauma.
In normal children, out-toeing is mostly due to skeletal problems and frequently more than one deformity is involved. The age of the child plays an important role in pinpointing the cause of the problem.
Early treatment is most effective in treating out-toeing and achieving the best result. This treatment often involves addressing postural problems, stretching and strengthening of muscles, and children’s orthotics to correct biomechanical causes.
If you’re concerned about your child out-toeing, call our reception at (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment.