What Is Tibial Torsion?

Tibial Torsion, also known as twisted shin, occurs in young children and involves an inward rotation of the shin bones. It causes the feet to turn inward and take a ‘pigeon-toed’ appearance. It is most often seen in 2 year olds.

Boys and girls are impacted equally and two thirds of patients are affected in both feet. Disability from Tibial Torsion is extremely rare.

Tibial Torsion Causes

  • The positioning of the baby in the tight space of the uterus as the legs rotate to fit.
  • Large babies born to diabetic mothers.


When a child with Tibial Torsion starts to walk, the feet turn inward because the tibia in the lower leg above the foot causes the foot to point inwards. Excessive tripping and falling over can be another sign.


A good podiatrist can diagnose a case of Tibial Torsion through history taking, a physical examination of the foot and ankle and a Biomechanical Assessment to study the child’s range of movement. An X-ray, MRI or CT scan may also be recommended.

Tibial Torsion Treatment

Tibial Torsion almost always corrects itself in children as they grow, usually before they reach school age. The correction will take longer the later a child starts walking or the less a child walks. Early intervention with Kinetic Orthotics can assist in preventing future complications from arising due to poor foot position and gait patterns.

Surgery to reset the bone may be performed in a child who is over 8 years old and has a severe twist causing major problems with movement.


Prevention is not always possible as this condition is caused by developmental or genetic factors that cannot be controlled.

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