Today is Donald Duck’s birthday and while you may want to raise a glass to the lovable Disney character, chances are you don’t want your gait to mimic his distinctive waddle.
If you have been told that you walk like a duck, it most likely means that you are out-toed (your toes turn out when you stride.) This condition, more common in children but sometimes continued into adulthood, can be the result of foot, hip or leg problems or can be a side effect of arthritis or obesity.
While duck-walking in itself isn’t a particularly serious medical problem, it can lead to heel pain; bunions and tailor’s bunions (bunions that form beneath your pinky toe instead of the big toe, their usual location); neuromas; hammertoes; arthritis; and hallux limitus (reduced movement of the big-toe joint).
All those problems seem intimidating but, fortunately, treating out-toeing is actually fairly simple. Instead of trying to correct the problem, we usually strive to manage the symptoms by allowing you to function with your body’s form without experiencing pain. The best way to do this is to fit you for custom orthotics.
If, for some reason, orthotics do not provide you with the relief you need, we can always explore other options, including bracing and/or surgery, depending on the reasons behind your out-toeing. However, I always prefer to choose the treatment-path of least invasiveness, and orthotics get the job done, pain free, for many of my patients.
If you’re concerned that you and birthday-boy Donald Duck have too similar a stride, schedule an appointment with your Houston podiatrist today to discuss your treatment options. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, you’ll be glad you did!