Toe walking is a reasonable common problem in kids

Many children when they're learning to walk, walk on their toes. This is totally normal and usually is of no relevance. By the age of three, the child ought to be walking normally with the full foot flat on the ground. However a small number do not and continue to toe walk. These have to be looked at further as there are a variety of serious conditions that might be underlying it.

There are specific reasons for toe walking with about 10% getting classed as idiopathic, which means that the reason is unknown. Certain neurological disorders for example cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy that can cause the calf muscle to be limited could cause it. Orthopaedic problems for example club feet which is a deformity or severs disease that causes heel pain or just really tight calf muscles may also result in toe walking. There is another group of kids who can get their heels to the ground, but just prefer to walk on their toes. This later one might be connected with behavioural problems or connected to disorders like the autism spectrum disorders or developmental delay. After all these types of potential underpinning conditions are excluded, the diagnosis of idiopathic toe walking can be made in those who continue to walk on the toes.

The treatment of Toe Walking is aimed at the underlying disorder which is underlying it. In cases in which idiopathic toe walking has been clinically determined, there are a number of alternatives such a behavioural interventions, stretching, vibration therapies, plaster casting as well as Botox injections. If all that fails, a surgical extending of the Achilles tendon can be carried out. Many cases do often come right after a while, so mild cases might just be monitored to let it resolve or later make the diagnosis of a condition that is underlying it. All cases do need to be taken seriously and further examined.


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