Investigators found 79% of children who had ever been toe-walkers spontaneously developed typical gait by 10 years of age and did so without intervention or contractures of the ankle dorsiflexion.
by Monica Jaramillo, Healio Orthopedics Today June 14, 2018
In their previous study of 1,401 Swedish children who were 5.5 years old, researchers found a 5% prevalence of idiopathic toe-walking. In their current study, 26 of the 63 children who were toe-walkers were assessed at 8 and 10 years of age. When children were 8 years old, their parents were asked via telephone if their child received either treatment or diagnosis since their child’s assessment at 5.5 years of age. Parents were asked the same question at their child’s 10-year-old follow-up. The children then underwent a neurological examination and orthopedic examination which focused on the lower extremities.
Results showed six out of the 26 children stopped toe-walking at 8 years of age. By the time children were 10 years old, 50 out of the 63 children spontaneously stopped toe-walking. Investigators noted idiopathic-walking did not lead to contractures of the triceps surae.
One subgroup of children was not considered idiopathic toe-walkers because the children displayed early contracture of the ankle, according to the researchers. There were four children at 10 years old who still toe-waked and demonstrated neurodevelopmental comorbidity.
Idiopathic Toe-Walking: Prevalence and Natural History from Birth to Ten Years of Age, Engström P, Tedroff K. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Apr 18;100(8):640-647. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.17.00851.
The prevalence and course of idiopathic toe-walking in 5-year-old children, Engström P, Tedroff K. Pediatrics. 2012 Aug;130(2):279-84. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0225. Epub 2012 Jul 23.
Source Healio Orthopedics Today
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