Children's Feet & Legs

As parents we worry about our children. We worry our children may be off balance, we worry that they are too floppy and perhaps their hips, legs and feet don’t quite seem to look like ours. The good news is that children’s lower limbs are different to adults, as they are still developing. However, sometimes children need a little help to ensure they are on the best path to develop properly.

The purpose of paediatric assessment is to reassure and monitor, usually at 3-6 month intervals. In the event of recognising early developmental delay, almost all cases are conservatively managed, with few needing specialist referral. Things commonly seen include;


Metatarsus Adductus C Shaped Foot

Metatarsus Adductus 'C Shaped Foot'

  • Mild cases require monitoring only
  • Moderate cases require regular, gentle stretching
  • Severe cases require serial casting
Talipes Deformity & Clubfoot

Talipes Deformity & Clubfoot

  • Mild cases require regular stretching​
  • Moderate cases require splinting and casting
  • Severe cases require specialist referral

Kids & Teens

Children's feet on the floor standing on tiptoe

Toe Walking

  • Normal between years 2-5

  • Often habitual in later years

  • Can represent tight muscles, pelvic issues or leg length discrepancy

  • Treated with simple stretches and, in some cases, splints

Contrast of barefoot children's legs and  shoes

Flat Feet

  • Normal between years 2-5

  • Can be flexible or rigid

  • May become painful & alter gait

  • Require only monitoring if not causing pain, otherwise treated with simple insoles or shoes

Heel Pain - Children

Heel Pain

  • Common until age 12
  • Usually caused by inflammation of growth plate (Sever’s Disease)

  • Can indicate trauma such as fracture

  • Treated with simple stretches, heel lifts, and strapping

Knee Pain - Children

Knee Pain

  • Common after running

  • May indicate inflammation of growth plate (Osgood-Schlatter), soft tissue injury or fracture

  • Often the result of weak hip and/or leg muscles

  • Treatment is case dependant and may include: strapping, footwear, orthotics, manual therapy, prescribed strengthening & referral

Knocked Knees

Knocked Knees

  • Usually resolved by age 7

  • Often a sign of muscle tightness or ligament laxity

  • Can indicate tibial deformity, leg length issues, & scoliosis

  • Treatment may include: footwear, manual therapy & orthotics


Hip & Groin Pain

  • Common causes include hip dysplasia, Perthes disease, SCFE’s, & labral tears

  • Treatment should always include multidisciplinary referral, imaging and may include specialist referral

Healthier Feet, Healthier You