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Reverse-Shoe Wearing Method for Treating Toe-In Gait in Children Can Lead to Hallux Valgus

Yong Li, Jun Bian, Dan Chen, Bo Jiang, Pengfei Zheng, Yue Lou

(Department of Pediatric Orthopedics, Children’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6157-6164

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909072

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of 2 methods for treating toe-in gait in children (reverse-shoe wearing and orthopedic insoles) and to determine whether reverse-shoe wearing results in hallux valgus.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between July 2012 and July 2014, 337 children diagnosed with toe-in gait over 2 years were recruited. For 139 children, parents selected use of reverse-shoe wearing treatment (RS group) and for 198 children, parents selected orthopedic insoles treatment (OI group). There were 98 children in the RS group and 167 in the OI group who completed the 12-month therapy and follow-up. We excluded 28 children who failed to complete the study, and 44 children who ceased treatment within the first month were selected as controls. Patients were assessed for up to 24 months after the cessation of treatment. Foot progression angle (FPA) and presence and degree of hallux valgus angle (HVA) were recorded.
RESULTS: FPA was significantly reduced after 6 months in both RS and OI groups (P<0.05). FPA returned to almost normal after 12 months of treatment, with no significant difference between the 2 groups. There were 29 cases (51 feet) of hallux valgus in the RS group after 12-month treatment; the HVA had significantly declined by 2 years after treatment with normal shoe wearing but did not return to normal.
CONCLUSIONS: Corrective treatment should be used with children diagnosed with toe-in gait over 2 years showing no remission. Both reverse-shoe wearing and orthopedic insoles show similar levels of treatment success, but reverse-shoe wearing has a significant adverse effect of hallux valgus.

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