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Louise Sivak, M.D.
Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience:  Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
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toddler walks with one foot turned inward. Pediatrician says

Customer Question

toddler walks with one foot turned inward. Pediatrician says not to worry til she's fifteen.Wouldn't that be too late to fix?
Submitted: 6 years ago via Vitals.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Leah replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. Assuming that your daughter was born with no hip, leg, or foot problems and has achieved age appropriate developmental milestones, what you are seeing is probably normal. Most toddlers have very flexible hip ligaments, usually until about age 3 to 3 1/2 years old. This can be seen when her Pediatrician examines her hips when she is lying on the exam table. Some toddlers are so flexible that their legs can be turned inward by almost 90 degrees. Because of this flexibility, she can occasionally walk with a foot turned inward. This is probably unrelated to her "tripping over herself" occasionally when she walks. Though I'm sure your toddler has been walking for some time, she is still not as coordinated with it as she will be in a few years. A research study was actually done to determine how many times a toddler trips/falls in a 24 hour period; the result was over 200 times! At this time, I would not be concerned about your daughter's foot turning inward with walking. If, however, she develops difficulty walking or new symptoms develop, she should be evaluated by her Pediatrician.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
she's a few weeks from her 2nd birthday. does that mean her foot on it's own will straighten? and if it's only til she's a little after 3 yrs old why would her pediatrician say not to worry til she's fifteen?
Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 6 years ago.

Hello,

She cannot wait till fifteen years old to have surgery if surgery is needed.

Her pediatrician should refer her to a pediatric orthopedist for evaluation if her bones and/or ligaments are out of alignment on physical examination.

Best,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I refuse to let her wait til she's fifteen yrs old to see if its something out of the ordinary. but how would I know who is considered a good doctor for her when I get a response like that? My mom suggested i put on her shoe on the opposite foot for a few days to have it straightened. it works as she wears it but as soon as it comes off she does it again. And every now and then she drags the top of her feet on the floor causing her to scrape and of course fall.Its only her left foot
Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 6 years ago.

I completely agree with not waiting until she is older, as I wrote. She should see a pediatrician for sure. Has she had the same doctor since she was born? May I ask whether it was this pediatrician who suggests you wait? In that case, I strongly recommend you get a second opinion or simply request a referral to a pediatric orthopedist for a second opinion.

If you live near a major children's hospital, that website will list general pediatricians in the area.

Best,

Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience: Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
Louise Sivak, M.D. and other Pediatrics Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Leah replied 6 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, and I'm glad that Dr. Sivak was able to provide assistance. I'm not sure why your daughter's Pediatrician said to wait until she is 15 years old. Most cases of hip laxity resolve on their own by around age 3 yrs. Your last comment referred to "when her foot would straighten." If her one foot is curved or shaped differently from the other, this is a completely different issue. This would seem more like a foot malformation and an evaluation by a Pediatric Orthopedist is warranted. I hope that you have received the answers that you need. Best of luck!