Tibial Torsion | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is tibial torsion diagnosed?

During a physical examination by your child's doctor, the doctor obtains a complete prenatal and birth history of your child and asks if other family members are known to have tibial torsion.

In addition, some doctors place ink or chalk on the bottom of the child's feet and have them walk on paper to evaluate the amount of intoeing the child has.

Other diagnostic procedures may include:

  • X-rays - A diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. This test is done to rule out any associated abnormalities of the spinal cord and nerves
  • Computerized Tomography Scan (also called a CT or CAT scan)- A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called "slices"), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays

How is tibial torsion treated?

Specific treatment for tibial torsion will be determined by your child's physician based on

  • your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • the extent of the condition
  • your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference.

The twisting of the shin bones usually improves with time. As the child grows, walking will become more normal, usually around 5 to 8 years of age.

Occasionally, braces or special shoes are prescribed by the physician.

Tibial torsion has a very good prognosis. Many cases correct themselves as the child grows. On rare occasions, tibial torsion can be severe and surgery may be required to straighten the shin bones.

It is important to know that tibial torsion does not lead to arthritis or any other future health problems.