Idiopathic Toe Walking

  • Karen Davies
  • Lise Leveille
  • Christine Alvarez
Reference work entry


Idiopathic toe walking in children is a diagnosis of exclusion. Toe walkers require investigation with a thorough clinical examination, observational gait assessment, and potential additional review to exclude an underlying diagnosis. Three-dimensional instrumented gait analysis is helpful to characterize the observed gait pattern and identify children that may benefit from intervention. It is most useful in the child with reduced range of motion at the ankle who has a toe-toe gait pattern but appears to have a heel strike on observational gait analysis. These children often compensate with either hyperextension of the knee in mid-stance, external foot progression, and/or an early heel rise, frequently missed with observational gait analysis. In this clinical scenario, instrumented three-dimensional gait analysis enables characterization of the toe walking pattern and identification of objective intervention outcomes.


Idiopathic toe walking Gait analysis Ankle kinematics Ankle kinetics Electromyography Pedobarography 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Davies
    • 1
  • Lise Leveille
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christine Alvarez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Shriners Gait LabSunny Hill Health Centre for ChildrenVancouverCanada
  2. 2.British Columbia Children’s HospitalVancouverCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Freeman Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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