Pigeon boy

About the time that Rafe started walking properly we noticed that he was pigeon-toed. That is, he turns his feet (both but primarily his right foot- or was it his left? I’m rubbish at those things) inwards when he walks or runs. As well as being disturbing for us, it makes for difficult for walking for Rafe. He tends to fall more than other kids his age, simply because he doesnt have the control over his feet, and ends up tripping over them, hence whacking his head on a door, etc. This makes me uncomfortable as I can’t let him run ahead and have to restrain myself from taking his hand all the time when we’re walking!

We eventually decided we needed to have this issue checked and asked our health visitor about it. She agreed there was definetly “in toeing” and referred him to a podiatrist. We finally had our appointment  yesterday.   Going into it I was a bit apprehensive, I work for a veterinary orthopedic referral hospital and I’ve seen animals with growth deformities, it’s not a pretty site. I was afraid Rafe would have a bone deformity, or would need extensive surgery, or some sort of frame on his legs etc.

Thankfully this is not the case. The specialist said that while Rafe is definetly in toeing, it is actually very mild and is not affecting other aspects his development.  It was attributable not to his knees, or deformity of his bones, but apparently just looseness in his hips, that allows his legs to move freer than normal. It was disconcerting to see her turn his leg and press the inside edge of his foot flat against the floor without him taking any notice whatsoever.

He will continue to trip over his feet and take more tumbles than other kids, especially when he’s running, but ultimately Rafe should grow out of the pigeon toe phase by about 5 years old and she has given us some exercises, or activities, that can really help tighten up/strengthen his hips and stop the in toeing. And also some things to look out for that may think it has gotten worse.

In the mean time we are just very relieved. Our little Lamb is just fine.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sara on October 31, 2008 at 6:24 am

    How old was Rafe when you took him to the doctor? My grandaughter just turned 4 and we just noticed that her ankle rolls inward when she walks. She has always been pigeon-toed, but we thought she would outgrow it. She just recently had to have stitches because of a trip into a door. She has an appt. with an ortho specialist from Shriners in December. I am so praying that she will be okay.


  2. Posted by ering1 on October 31, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Hi Sara,

    I’m sorry to hear about your grand daughter. I hope she heals up soon!

    We finally asked our health visitor about it when Rafe was just over 2, and she referred us to the specialist who told us he would grow out of it by the time he was five. Even a few months later, he does it much less than he used to.

    I work for a leading orthopaedic veterinary surgeon and I asked him about Rafe- he said the best thing to was get him swimming, as that really helps with the hip laxity (looseness). We took Rafe swimming about half a dozen times over the summer, so it might be that’s all he needed.

    Try taking your grand daughter swimming and see if that helps- but definitely see the specialist in December,too! Best of luck!


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