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Intoeing: A Developmental Norm

Ryan, Donna J.


Intoeing, often referred to as pigeon-toes, is a frequent reason for referral to the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon's practice. Parents and grandparents are concerned about the appearance of the legs and a history of frequent tripping and falling. Many of the “abnormalities” that these children present with are variations of normal development of the lower extremities and include flat footedness, and torsional or angular “deformity.” The approach of the specialist team is to identify the source of the intoeing, to rule out neuromuscular dysfunction or other serious conditions, and to counsel the family on anticipatory guidance of the natural history of intoeing. The focus of this article is intoeing, associated examination techniques, and nursing considerations of education and treatment. An understanding of musculoskeletal developmental norms, the clinical examination for intoeing, and the current recommendations for treatment will enable the provider to educate and accurately inform families.

Donna J. Ryan, MSN, RN, CS, PNP, ONC, is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

© 2001 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses