***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.***
Here’s an update on Lydia’s tip-toe walking: the next (hopefully heel-to-toe!) steps!
Miss Lydia is a tip-toe walker. Always has been, since right after she started walking. She’s got super strong calf muscles because of it and good core strength, considering she has to work harder to maintain her balance. She runs on her tip toes! Her tip-toe walking isn’t a problem, medically. It doesn’t effect her health or her posture or anything like that, but it’s just something that she shouldn’t be doing. She occasionally trips herself, but has never hurt herself. I’ve blogged about her tip-toe walking before, links here and also here.
We had her in physical therapy previously, and in braces, both day-time and night-time braces. Nothing has seemed to work, nothing really stuck. Last fall we decided we’d wait until this summer to see if she’d grow out of it and stop doing it. She didn’t. So, tomorrow, on Monday, we’re going to try a new technique – serial casting. For three or four weeks, she’ll get both feet put into casts. The goals of the casts are two-fold: one, to stretch out her tendons so that she is able to walk heel-to-toe, which is a normal walking gate. Lydia steps down on her toes, so the tendons on the back of her legs have shortened, making it more difficult for her physically to be able to actually walk heel-to-toe. Each week the casts will be put at a different degree, stretching out the tendon and holding the stretch. The other goal is to make her calf muscles weaker, so that once the casts are off, it’s physically harder for her to hold herself up on her tip toes. She will need physical therapy after the casting and probably braces.
I don’t know what to expect with the casts. They will be walking casts, so she’ll still be able to play and do her normal things. We won’t be able to go swimming, but we’ve had her in the pool lots up until this point. I’m nervous about the bulk of them and it being difficult for her to walk. We purposefully scheduled the casting at this point in the summer so that she can hopefully see good progress before she begins kindergarten this fall.
I’m worried about putting her through this for a month and seeing no progress. I really hope we see progress. I will provide an update later!