Treatment for Idiopathic Toe-Walking: Results at Skeletal Maturity

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Abstract

Summary:

Thirteen skeletally mature subjects who had been treated as children for idiopathic toe-walking underwent gait analysis and calf muscle strength testing at an average of 10.8 years from the last intervention. Six had had serial casting only; seven had had either a percutaneous tendo Achilles lengthening or a Baker's gastroc-soleus lengthening. Sagittal plane kinematics at the ankle was altered in 12 of the 13 subjects, but the changes were detectable visually in only 3 subjects. One subject had increased ankle plantarflexion at initial contact, but the other 12 subjects had a normal first rocker. Peak ankle dorsiflexion in stance averaged only 9°, and 11 of the subjects had a peak ankle dorsiflexion in stance greater than 2 standard deviations below normative values. Ankle dorsiflexion was also restricted on passive measures, but there was no correlation between ankle dorsiflexion non-weight-bearing and in gait. Inversion of second rocker was seen in two subjects with peak ankle dorsiflexion in stance occurring before 25% of the gait cycle. Power generation by the calf during a single heel-rise test was variable between subjects but within normative values compared with controls. The authors conclude that most subjects showed persistent changes in ankle kinematics and kinetics despite treatment but that this was not detectable visually in most subjects.

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