Synergy Health Partners


Overview of Intoeing

Definition: Intoeing, commonly known as “pigeon toes,” is a condition where the feet turn inward when walking or running. This condition can be observed in one or both feet and is most frequently seen in children under the age of eight.

Causes: Intoeing is usually caused by one of three conditions:

  1. Metatarsus Adductus: The front part of the foot is curved inward. It is often seen in infants and typically improves without treatment.
  2. Internal Tibial Torsion: The shinbone (tibia) is twisted inward. This is common in toddlers and usually self-corrects as the child grows.
  3. Femoral Anteversion: The thighbone (femur) is twisted inward. This condition is often noticed in children between the ages of 3 and 6 and tends to resolve on its own over time.


  • Visible inward turning of the feet
  • Tripping or stumbling more frequently while walking or running
  • Uneven wear on the shoes

Diagnosis: A pediatrician or orthopedic specialist typically diagnoses intoeing through a physical examination and by observing the child’s gait. In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays may be used to determine the underlying cause.

Treatment: Most cases of intoeing do not require treatment and resolve as the child grows. However, in more severe cases or if the condition persists, treatment options may include:

  • Observation: Regular monitoring to track the condition’s progression.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve leg and foot alignment.
  • Braces or Orthotics: Special shoes or inserts to aid in correcting foot position.
  • Surgery: Rarely needed, but may be considered in severe cases where other treatments have not been effective.