Funding obtained for toe-walking study

We have seen an epidemic of children presenting walking on their toes. I am part of a national group studying this common, but not well understood presentation.

A recent national survey of showed marked variability in how toe-walking is managed across the UK. There is no consensus on appropriate treatments; especially when surgery should be undertaken.

For many children, toe-walking doesn’t cause any problems, however some can get leg pain and difficulty walking. Surgery can be performed to lengthen the achilles tendon to improve the ankle range of motion and walking pattern.

We have just secured a research grant from the British Society for Children’s Orthopaedic Surgery to study toe-walking. We will be looking at quality of life in children who walk on their toes, and also how their walking changes after surgery. We will be using the state of the art Gait Laboratories in Oxford and London to help us evaluate function before and after surgery. We hope the findings will be useful to rationalise and guide treatment strategies.

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