Orthotics for Children: The Gait Plate for In-toeing

The position of your children’s feet will determine will either keep them free to run and play, or can have them tripping, falling and in pain. A common foot position in children that can stop them from reaching their full potential is in-toeing. So why does in-toeing develop and what can you do about it? Today we examine the easy and effective solution to correct in-toeing in kids: the gait plate.

In-toeing: The low-down

In-toeing, which is often referred to as pigeon-toeing, can affect both children and adults alike – although adult toeing is usually a result of childhood in-toeing not being treated. It’s very easy to spot because of the inward rotation of the feet.
While it may appear like a funny or wobbly walk, the reality is that in-toeing:
  • Causes tripping and falling
  • Shows there is some irregularity within the structure or positioning of the bones of the lower limbs
  • May be a precursor for further problems and pains
It is typically caused by one of three ways: (warning, we’re about to get technical here) Metatarsus Adductus describes the inwards curve of the forefoot (toes) on the rearfoot (heel). This may be described as a ‘banana-shaped’ foot and is thought to be a result of the position of the baby in the womb, so is always present at birth. Tibial Torsion is the inward rotation of the shin bone, otherwise known as the tibia. Because the tibia is turned inwards, so is the ankle and foot, resulting in in-toeing. Here, correcting the position of the shin bone will correct the in-toeing. Femoral Torsion is the inward rotation of the thigh bone (femur). This also rotates the shin bone and the foot, causing in-toeing. This is one of the reasons that children are discouraged from sitting in the ‘W’ position – because it rotates the thighs inwards.

Correcting in-toeing with the gait plate orthotic

A gait plate is a special type of orthotic that encourages the feet to straighten with every step in the shoe and orthotic. It is designed very specifically to the landmarks of a persons’ foot, which is measured during a biomechanical assessment. It works by encouraging the outward rotation of the feet with every step. The orthotics replace the regular inner liner of a shoe, and can be moved from shoe to shoe. The best part is – kids can’t even tell that they’re there! That means no tears and frustration (for both kids and adults!), it’s just pop your shoes on and go.

To start taking control of your health…

Give our team at Kane Orthotics a call on 09 523 2333, and we’ll get you on your way to making foot pains and problems a thing of the past! You can also book online here.