The effectiveness of gait plates in controlling in-toeing symptoms in young children

AC Redmond Division of Podiatry, University of Western Sydney-Macarthur, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.

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A range of patient-oriented and practitioner-oriented outcomes were used to evaluate the efficacy of "gait plate" shoe inlays in controlling symptoms associated with in-toeing in otherwise healthy children. For 18 in-toeing children, parents completed a preintervention questionnaire. Then, during randomized trials, foot placement angle was measured both with and without gait plate inlays in the children's footwear. After the children had worn the gait plates for 1 month, a simple questionnaire was used to rate parental satisfaction with a range of factors associated with control of symptoms. The use of gait plate inlays resulted in a small but statistically significant reduction in the amount of in-toeing as measured by foot placement angle. Gait plates reduced the reported frequency of tripping in 14 of the 18 cases. The reported parental satisfaction was high or very high in all but one case, suggesting that this intervention warrants further investigation as an alternative to "observational management" for symptomatic in-toeing.