Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why does my toddler ... walk on her toes?

Toe walking (equinas gait) is usually normal, especially if your child is just beginning to learn to walk and is otherwise growing and developing normally.
However, toe walking can be a sign of a medical condition and can lead to problems with your child's gait, especially if it is persisting after she is three years old, if she developed toe walking at an older age, if the child can't stand flat, or has a limited range of motion..
Although often a habit, toe walking can be caused by neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, leg length discrepancies or developmental dysplasia of the hip (especially if the toe walking is one sided), spinal cord abnormalities (such as a tethered cord) and tendo-Achilles contractures.
For children with mild contractures, stretching exercises and/or physical therapy may be necessary. For persistent or more severe contractures, casting or surgery may be required as treatment, although some specialists are using botox to successfully treat and correct toe walking.
Children with toe walking should be evaluated by their Pediatrician, so that a complete neurological exam can be performed to look for the above conditions.

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