In-Toeing Is Often a Primary Care Orthopedic Condition

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate in-toeing consults to a pediatric orthopedic clinic to determine the proportion that could be managed by a primary care physician.

Study design

A prospective registry was created for 143 consecutive children referred to a pediatric orthopedic clinic for “in-toeing.” Each patient underwent a careful history and physical examination, which included a rotational profile. We recorded the final diagnosis, treatment offered, follow-up visit results, and the source of the referral.

Results

After pediatric orthopedic evaluation, 85% of patients had a confirmed diagnosis of in-toeing, and 15% had a different final diagnosis. Seventy-four percent of patients had 1 consultation visit, 18% had 2, and 8% had >2 visits. None of the referred patients was a candidate for treatment by casting or surgery.

Conclusion

In most cases, in-toeing is a normal variation of development that can be managed by counseling and observation by the primary care physician alone. Rare cases of severe in-toeing >2 standard deviations from the mean should likely still prompt referral to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon for potential intervention.

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