Sports Medicine: Femoral Anteversion

Femoral anteversion (feh-mr-uhl an-ti-vur-zhn) is an inward turn of the thigh bone (femur) which can cause the knees and toes to point in (pigeon toed). Femoral anteversion can be seen in one or both legs. It is often most clear when children are 5 to 6 years old. 

Signs and Symptoms 

  • Unable to walk with feet close to together and legs straight
  • Pain in the hips, knees, or ankles
  • Child often trips or falls
  • Running with legs swinging out
  • Sitting in a “W” shaped position, not able to sit with legs crossed (Picture 1)

Increased Risk

  • Female
  • Family history of the condition


  • Medicine
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®) may be recommended. Take these as directed by your doctor or health care provider.
  • Other minor pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) may be taken
  • Use of cold and heat
    • Cold should be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours and after any activity that makes symptoms worse. Use ice packs or an ice massage and raise the foot and ankle at or above heart level to reduce swelling.
    • Heat may be used before doing stretching and strengthening activities prescribed by your doctor, health care provider, or athletic trainer. Use a heat pack or a warm soak. Apply for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Exercises
    • Exercises to stretch and improve strength and flexibility of the hip are sometimes helpful. These can be done at home, but often a referral to a physical therapist or athletic trainer may be advised by your doctor or health care provider.
  • Surgery
    • If the condition does not improve as the child grows, surgery can be done when they are older. The surgery involves cutting and turning the femur into a more natural position.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor, health care provider, or the Sports Medicine team at (614) 355-6000 if:

  • Symptoms get worse or do not improve in 4 weeks, even with treatment.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop.


Sports Medicine: Femoral Anteversion (PDF)

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