Tip toe walker

***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.

7 thoughts on “Tip toe walker

  1. Aw, poor thing but it is good to take care of this now.One of our friends kids walks on her tip toes. When she turned 10 she started having problems and that was when she started with physical therapy.

  2. Hi there. I found your blog by googling “toe walker”. Then oddly enough realized we both live in or near Cincinnati. I would love to chat with you about your experiences with your daughter and her toe walking. I would love to see how the braces are working. I have two toe walkers! And have received very different opinions on how to treat this. Email me, please, if you don’t mind sharing!Thanks! Jenny

  3. I have a 5 year girl who has always walked on her toes, she has worn braces since she was toe and when she turned 5 we noticed as soon as the braces came off she went right back on her toes. Our doctor recommended an operation that will lossen her muscle. we had the operation and she has been walking flat foot since.. it;s kind of funy that it took her about a month to learn how to walk with flat feet, but she is doing amazing

  4. frank says:

    my grandson walks on tiptoes on one foot he will be seeing a specialist this week to have a look and hopefully sort out this for him he,s a 16 month old twin and want to walk about with his brother but finds this difficult at the moment

  5. Michelle says:

    I found your blog today. I too have a three-year-old that toe walks. We are trying to decide what to do. The doctor has recommended surgery but we are totally against that at this point. Did you all try the serial casting? We are trying to decide which option to pursue other than surgery.

  6. @Michelle – we did do serial casting with Lydia. She stopped toe walking for a while but then strengthened her muscles back up and got right back at it. Her doctor's and PT's never suggested surgery because her toe-walking never impeded her life. She runs on her tip-toes and walks fine on her tip toes. I had written a blog poster newer to this one that you might want to read – if you click on the “toe walking” tag above (right below the picture of the braces) you can read all of the posts about this topic. You can feel free to email me directly too, if you want.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s