Toe Walking problem or normal attitude

Is tip toe walking a problem or is it normal for toddlers?

Do parents have to worry if their 2 years old child walks on toes?

This is one of the most frequent questions addressed to a pediatric orthopedic specialist.

It is quite common that during their first two-three years of life children walk on tiptoe. It can be considered a normal attitude because they are just learning to move. But tip toe walking always need an accurate clinical evaluation to exclude important neurological diseases.

Usually, this condition seems to be more frequent in children who use walkers, because these devices make them pushing on their tips, hopping.

In normal child it could be considered a kind of strategy that some may adopt in order to shift forward the center of gravity. This solution helps them using less energy to take the first steps. Some children do it just for fun and we can say that more than a half of young children stop toe walking on their own.

Anyway, it must be kept under control. If it persists, it can become a habit that must be corrected. Parents may try with a verbal recall and see if the child stops this attitude.

If the child can not put his feet plantigrade (i.e. put it flat on the floor) and the situation persists, an orthopedic examination is mandatory.

The orthopedic surgeon may detect the presence of a short Achilles tendon and see if there are any other underlying problems. Conditions connected with toe walking are, for example, neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and also autism.

If you have any doubt about tip toe walking you can request an appointment or ask for professor Portinaro’s opinion

Read more about Professor Portinaro’s experience and find more information on tip toe walking