Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Blaschak, Mary Jo

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


Idiopathic toe walking (ITW) is a condition, whose cause is unknown, and characterized by a persistent tiptoe gait pattern without evidence of neurologic, orthopedic, or psychiatric disease. Children diagnosed with ITW are typically able to walk with a heel-strike gait for short periods of time when asked to do so. ITW is also known as habitual toe walking, idiosyncratic toewalking or forefoot walking. Children experiencing ITW may take their first few steps in a heel-to-toe pattern and rise to toe walking only when increasing their speed of ambulation. The diagnosis of ITW is one of exclusion, in which other causes of toe- walking such as equinus, cerebral palsy, autism or myopathy are ruled out. Valuable tools are used in both the diagnosis and assessment of the progression ofITW. Children experiencing toe walking should be evaluated with and without shoes and a thorough musculoskeletal examination should be performed by the PT. Options for the treatment of idiopathic toe walking involve observation, nonoperative and operative management. The prognosis of idiopathic toe walking is favorable with both conservative and surgical treatment. The following paper is a literature review that provides an overview of background information, diagnosis, and evaluation and treatment options for idiopathic toe walking.


Includes bibliographical references.


12 pages




Northern Illinois University

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