***If you’ve landed on my blog from searching the ‘net for info on tip toe walking or serial casting or AFO braces, hello. This particular post here is one in a number I wrote about my daughter’s tip toe walking. I encourage you to start with this post instead. It encapsulates our journey more succinctly.***
We all know Lydia is a pretty princess. She walks like a princess ballerina, up on her toes. It was cute for a little bit, but it got to be concerning because she would never walk on her flat feet. Her balance is off because she’s on her tip toes. At their three-year well-baby check up I asked the doctor about it, and he referred us to a physical therapist. Lydia has been going to physical therapy for the past four weeks every Monday. She has a weak tendon in her foot/leg that is causing her to walk on her tip toes all the time. It’s in her left leg, but she walks on tip toes on both feet to overcompensate. Her tendon is weak either because it’s always been weak, and that caused her to start walking on her tip toes, or, it’s weak because she has always walked on her tip toes.
My theory is this: when she was a little baby, her favorite thing to do was bounce in a bouncer. She’d bounce on her tip toes. When she started walking, she started out on her tip toes. I think we all thought she’d just stop, but two years later, she’s still doing it. I don’t know if the bouncer is what caused it, and the physical therapist doesn’t know either.
Today, she can walk right – we just have to tell her. We’ll say “Lydia, walk on your flat feet” and she’ll do it, but then a minute later she’s back up on her tip toes. She has to try to walk right, it just doesn’t come naturally. Last night at physical therapy she did better at her exercises and the physical therapist said that she is getting greater range with her feet and legs.
Next week when we go in for physical therapy Lydia is going to get fitted for braces and we’ll get them a week later. We will have to get her special shoes to fit over the braces. She’ll have to wear them most of the day during her normal activities.
They’ll look similar to this picture below. I feel bad that she’ll have to wear the braces. The physical therapist said that Lydia can do exercises all day for the next year, and still walk on her tip toes just because that’s how she’s always walked, so that is what feels natural to her. She needs to break the habit of walking on her toes.