Idiopathic Toe Walking: Tests and Family Predisposition

Foot Ankle Spec. 2016 Aug;9(4):301-6. doi: 10.1177/1938640016630056. Epub 2016 Feb 12.


The aim of this study is to provide clinical examination methods that were designed specifically to assess the level of severity among children with idiopathic toe walking (ITW). The idiopathic toe-walking pattern of 836 children was recorded and analyzed during 4 years. Questionnaires and clinical measurements were evaluated, along with differential tests, assessing the occurrence and severity of toe walking. Questions about family history and onset of toe walking were evaluated along with special tests and measurements assessing the occurrence and severity of toe walking. The different measurements apply during this study, ankle dorsiflexion, lumbar lordosis angle, as well as the clinical spin test, walking after spin test, and heel walking test revealed in all cases that children with a positive family predisposition were significantly more affected than children with negative family predisposition. It is concluded that children with ITW and a positive family predisposition were more intensively affected during all performed clinical tests than children with no family predisposition. The tests used during this study have not being used by any other researches, even though they showed significant differences between the children with ITW and children with a normal gait pattern.

Levels of evidence: Diagnostic, Level II: development of diagnostic test with consecutive patients and control patients.

Keywords: age-related problems; forefoot, toe, midfoot, hereditary/genetic disorders; general disorders; pediatric podiatry; toe walking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pedigree
  • Physical Examination
  • Toes*
  • Walking / physiology*