Also known as: duck feet.

What is out-toeing?

Out-toeing is a condition that can occur in children in which the toes point outward rather than straight ahead. In many cases, it doesn’t cause any problems in toddlers and corrects itself as the child grows. Other cases of out-toeing can be tied to more serious conditions and may require medical attention.

What causes out-toeing?

In many cases, the problems that lead to out-toeing in an infant first occur in the uterus due to the baby’s position. In older children, rotational differences in the legs can result in out-toeing.  Older children who develop out-toeing may have a serious problem in the hip that needs urgent attention. The most common cause of out-toeing is flat foot, which can be considered a normal variant in children.

What are the symptoms of out-toeing?

In some cases, the condition causes no symptoms other than the physical anomaly of the toes being pointed outward as the child stands, walks or runs. Other children may have pain, discomfort or limping related to the condition.

What are out-toeing care options?

Most cases of out-toeing correct themselves over time as the child grows. In other instances, surgery may be required to correct the problems with the feet and legs and straighten the toes. The doctor should also evaluate the child to ensure that out-toeing is not related to a more serious medical condition such as a disorder of the hip growth plate.

Reviewed by: Daniel K Ruggles, DO

This page was last updated on: August 03, 2023 12:29 PM