A common pediatric foot and ankle abnormality is toe walking. Many people think that toe walking should be ignored and it will resolve on its own. Occasionally, it does resolve on its own but it is very important to have it evaluated by a podiatrist. There are many causes of toe walking in children. Some include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy as well as spinal cord problems. Once the neurological causes are ruled out, other diagnosis include idiopathic (unknown cause) toe walking which occurs commonly. Your podiatrist will complete a thorough developmental history including asking questions about strength, coordination, and bowel and bladder control. Other important findings that can help point to a diagnosis include whether the child was walking on the toes since birth or it developed over time and if the toe walking is occurring on one or both feet. Treatment options vary widely based on the root cause. Most include a team approach with a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics to work on stretching and strengthening. Sometimes, AFO (ankle foot orthotics) can be made which sometimes need to extend to the calf while in other cases, orthotics can be prescribed that go directly in the child’s shoes and do not need to extend past the ankle.
Call Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 to visit with Doylestown’s community podiatrists. We will be happy to discuss the above and keep the entire family on their feet!