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Tibial Torsion

January 29, 2024 Staff

Topics - Developmental

Nature, Causes and Treatment of Tibial Torsion

Tibial torsion in children refers to a condition where there is an inward or outward twisting of the tibia (shinbone). This condition affects the alignment of the leg and can influence how a child walks. There are two main types of tibial torsion:

  1. Internal Tibial Torsion: This is more common and involves the tibia twisting inward. In children with internal tibial torsion, the feet tend to point inwards when they walk or run, a condition often referred to as "in-toeing" or "pigeon-toed".

  2. External Tibial Torsion: In this case, the tibia twists outward. It's less common than internal torsion and can result in "out-toeing," where the feet point outward when the child walks.


Tibial torsion can be caused by several factors:

  • In Utero Positioning: A baby’s position in the womb can sometimes lead to tibial torsion. This is particularly the case with internal tibial torsion.

  • Genetics: There can be a hereditary component, where the condition runs in families.

  • Growth Patterns: Sometimes, as children grow, their bones develop a twist naturally. This can correct itself as the child continues to grow.


Pediatricians or pediatric orthopedists typically diagnose tibial torsion through physical examination and, if necessary, imaging tests like X-rays. They will look at the child’s walking pattern, leg alignment, and overall bone structure.


Most cases of tibial torsion in children resolve on their own as the child grows. Treatment is usually conservative, focusing on monitoring the child's growth and development. In rare cases where the torsion is severe and doesn’t improve with growth, surgical intervention might be considered.


The prognosis for children with tibial torsion is generally very good. Most children outgrow the condition without any long-term issues. The natural process of growth tends to bring the bones into better alignment over time.

It's always important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you suspect your child has tibial torsion or any other orthopedic concern.

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