Walking on your toes may seem like a fun and playful habit for young children, but what if it persists into later childhood and even adulthood? Toe walking, or walking on the balls of your feet, can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
Toe walking is most commonly seen in young children who are learning to walk. However, if the habit persists beyond the toddler years, it can be a sign of a more serious condition. There are two types of toe walking – idiopathic and pathological. Idiopathic toe walking is a habitual behavior that typically does not cause any problems, but pathological toe walking can be linked to neurological or muscular disorders.
One common cause of pathological toe walking is a shortened Achilles tendon. This condition, known as equinus deformity, can be caused by muscle or neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. In these cases, the shortened Achilles tendon makes it difficult to fully extend the foot, causing the person to walk on their toes.
If you or your child continue to toe walk beyond the toddler years, it is important to schedule an evaluation with a foot and ankle surgeon. They can determine the underlying cause of the toe walking and develop an appropriate treatment plan. The surgeon may recommend a series of exercises or physical therapy to lengthen the Achilles tendon and improve range of motion. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to lengthen the tendon and correct the foot position.
Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a foot and ankle surgeon who can evaluate and treat patients with toe walking. He has a special interest in pediatric foot and ankle disorders and is dedicated to helping his patients achieve optimal foot health.
In conclusion, toe walking can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon. If you or your child continues to walk on their toes beyond the toddler years, schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. Don’t hesitate to contact Dr Gilbert Huang DPM for his expert evaluation and treatment.