Toe Walking in Children

Do your children walk on their toes?

Toe Walking can be defined as a movement pattern whereby heel contact with the ground is either partially or fully absent. Walking on your toes is considered normal in children under the age of 2-3, however, most children will begin to develop heel strike after this age.

Causes 

While family history can play a factor, the cause of toe walking is often unknown. When the cause is not clear, we refer to it as “idiopathic”. 

Furthermore, it can be a symptom of the following conditions:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Clubfoot deformity
  • Autism
  • Short Achilles tendon
  • Neuropathy

Classification 

Toe walking can be classified into three types:

  1. Mild: When the child walks on their toes but there is still the presence of heel contact.
  2. Moderate: Where the heel leaves the ground early and the child propels onto their toes early.
  3. Severe: Where heel contact is entirely absent and the child propels onto their toes early.

Treatment options for toe walking

At TFC Podiatry, our Podiatrists are trained to identify any underlying pathologies that have led to this condition and creating an appropriate management plan. Once our child Podiatrists thoroughly examine your child’s toe walking, there are generally two treatment options:

  1. Conservative intervention, which may include: ongoing monitoring, stretching of the calf muscles, night splints, serial casting, or botox injections. 
  2. Surgical intervention, which is often tendo Achillis lengthening with postoperative casting.

If you are concerned about your child’s toe walking, feel free to contact us on 8375 2062 (Point Cook) or 9191 0117 (Yarraville) or book online at tfcpodiatry.com.au.