Internal Tibial Torsion: Symptoms & Treatments

Intoeing, or internal rotation of tibia, can be found in early childhood. This is typically done when your child first starts walking. It will be noticed by a turn of your child’s feet towards each other instead of in the straight line as they generally are. Learning what internal tibial torsion is and how it is treated can help you to understand what the next steps are when your child seems to display symptoms of this condition.

What is this condition?

This condition centers around the internal rotation of the tibia bone causing the toes and foot to turn inward towards the other foot. Typically, this is first observed when your toddler starts to walk. In most cases, the condition corrects itself by the time the child is around 4 years old but in other cases intervention is needed.

Symptoms and Treatment Options

There is usually no pain that comes along with this problem but parents seem to notice and report that their children fall more than what is considered normal. They seem to be tripping over their own feet when trying to walk in most cases.

Treatment options vary depending on the severity and the age of the child. As mentioned above, internal tibial torsion typically corrects itself by the time the child reaches age four. In more severe cases, if the condition has not corrected by the age of 9 or 10 years old, then they will consider surgery to correct the problem. That is because by this age, it is generally considered that it will not get better and they want to give your child the best possible future with walking correctly. Other times braces or physical therapy intervention has also been used.

The prognosis with internal rotation of tibia is usually a very good one. Your child will typically grow out of the condition anywhere between three and six years of age. There’s not any pain associated with it and the only symptoms you may notice is more falling down or tripping when walking.

Your child’s doctor can diagnosis this with measurements of the legs, physical exam and in some cases x-rays to determine the rotation. This is not a condition that has to be scary or frightening to you as the parent. Your child can still learn to walk with a normal gait and if it isn’t corrected on its own, there are other interventions that can help.

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