Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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A Comparison of the Birth Characteristics of Idiopathic Toe Walking and Toe Walking Gait Due to Medical Reasons.

OBJECTIVE: To determine and compare the birth history or postnatal complications of idiopathic toe walking (ITW) and toe walking known to be associated with a medical condition.

STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective chart review of parent-reported birth histories of children who presented to a dedicated toe-walking clinic between 2010 and 2014. This cohort comprised children diagnosed with ITW and children with a medical reason for their toe-walking gait. Data were compared with Australian Perinatal statistical normative data.

RESULTS: Ninety-five children (60 males, 63%) were diagnosed with ITW, with a mean (SD) age of 5.8 (2.9) years. Children with an ITW gait were found to have greater rates of prematurity (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.43-4.03), greater rates of admission to a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.23-3.18), and lower birth weights (OR 6.6; 95% CI 3.48-12.5) than the normative population. Children with a medical reason for toe walking (n = 28, 68% males) also had greater rates of prematurity (OR 2.4; 95% CI 0.94-6.09) than the normative population and more instrumented births than the ITW cohort (OR 1.56; 95% CI 0.64-3.77). No association was found between assisted-birth intervention and the ITW cohort compared with the normative population or group with a medical cause for toe walking.

CONCLUSIONS: ITW gait was associated with greater rates of complications during and after delivery. Such complications have been associated previously as risk factors for neurologic insult affecting motor development.

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