What is femoral anteversion?
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.
How to say it
What causes femoral anteversion?
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 his or her parents.
What are the symptoms of femoral anteversion?
The symptoms of femoral anteversion may include:
- Inward facing toes, or intoeing appearance
- Bowed legs
The bowed leg stance actually helps the child balance as he or she stands. Balance
is not as steady when the child tries to stand and walk with the feet close together
or with the feet turned out. He or she may trip and fall.
The symptoms of femoral anteversion may seem like other health problems. Make sure
your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is femoral anteversion diagnosed?
Femoral anteversion is often detected when a child is 4 to 6 years old. You may also
first notice it when your child is starting to learn how 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, he or she asks 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?
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 8 to 10 years
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
- 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.