What is femoral anteversion in children?
Femoral anteversion is an inward twisting of the thighbone (femur). The femur is the
bone that is located between the hip and the knee. This health problem causes a child’s
knees and feet to turn inward. The child may have a pigeon-toed appearance.
What causes femoral anteversion in a child?
Femoral anteversion can be the result of stiff hip muscles because of the position
of the baby in the uterus. It also tends to run in families. Typically, a child’s
walking style looks like that of their parents.
What are the symptoms of femoral anteversion in a child?
The symptoms of femoral anteversion may include:
Toes facing inward
The bowed leg stance actually helps the child balance as they stand. Balance is not
as steady when the child tries to stand and walk with the feet close together or with
the feet turned in. They may trip and fall.
The symptoms of femoral anteversion may seem like other health problems. Make sure
your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is femoral anteversion diagnosed in a child?
Femoral anteversion is often detected when a child is ages 4 to 6. You may also first
notice it when your child is learning to walk. But it may be present in different
aged children for different reasons.
Your child’s healthcare provider can diagnose femoral anteversion with a physical
exam. During the exam, they will ask about your child’s birth history and if other
family members are known to have the condition. Your child usually will not need X-rays.
How is femoral anteversion treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is.
The twisting in of the thighbone usually gets better with time. Many cases correct
themselves as the child grows. Your child will likely walk normally by ages 8 to 10.
Your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe braces or special shoes. But most studies
have found that these treatments don't help. If the femoral anteversion is severe,
your child may need surgery to straighten the thighbone.
It is important to know that femoral anteversion usually does not lead to arthritis
or any other future health problems.
Key points about femoral anteversion in children
Femoral anteversion is an inward twisting of the thighbone.
The condition tends to run in families.
It may be detected when a child first starts walking. It can cause inward facing toes
and bowed legs.
Most children with femoral anteversion will improve as they grow older. In severe
cases, your child may need surgery.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child.
Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose
for that visit.
Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important
if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.
Online Medical Reviewers:
- Kenny Turley PA-C
- L Renee Watson MSN RN
- Thomas N Joseph MD