Question:We just saw a PA in Orthopedics and he said our son may have femoral anteversion or tibial torsion and they should self correct at 8-12 years. Our son is 5 years old currently and turns in his feet when walking or running. Should we get a second opinion? No x-rays were taken, and no definite diagnosis was even given. He said the literature is against sole inserts or braces, saying they do nothing.
Answer:First, I think most of us would welcome any of our patients seeking a second opinion. Kids all grow and change at different rates, so there is no definite answer about when to expect that femoral anteversion or tibial torsion will resolve, but I usually tell my patients that any residual rotation still there around age 5 is probably going to be there permanently. That being said, small amounts of femoral anteversion and tibial torsion are often painless and do not affect function, even if the walking pattern looks a little unusual. Some people with mild femoral anteversion even become really fast runners with that gait pattern! Finally, an XRay is not usually necessary to make these diagnoses - a good physical exam can do that. In the end, if your gut tells you to get another opinion, you should - preferably from a fellowship trained pediatric orthopaedist. Best of luck to you and your son!
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