Idiopathic Toe Walking: An Evidence- Based Approach (on-demand webinar)

Course Description

Toe walking is a common reason for medical referral.  It is considered normal for children under the age of two years however when it persists beyond this age, it is considered a gait abnormality that warrants further assessment.  Persistent toe walking may present as an initial symptom of neuromuscular disorders however when it exists in the absence of a medical condition,  it is called idiopathic.  This introductory course examines the etiology, clinical presentation, evaluation, diagnosis, and medical management of idiopathic toe walking using an evidence based framework.  An algorithm will be presented to assist students in the clinical decision-making progress.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Define and discuss toe walking from a historical perspective to current accepted concepts.
  • Compare and contrast toe walking associated with disease and toe walking in the absence of a medical condition.
  • Identify and discuss a comprehensive evaluation for a patient referral due to toe walking.
  • Analyze and synthesize current research and clinical criteria in the diagnosis of idiopathic toe walking.
  • Describe and apply current research findings on gait kinematics and kinetics in idiopathic toe walkers.
  • Analyze and synthesize current research into suggested relationships with other body systems.
  • Discuss and analyze the proposed long-term consequences of idiopathic toe walking for the purpose of supporting an appropriate plan of care.
  • Identify and discuss current evidence-based management options in the treatment of idiopathic toe walking.
  • Identify the indications, contraindications, risks, and benefits of the different management options available for the treatment of idiopathic toe walking.
  • Discuss the role of the physical therapist as a part of an inter-professional team member in the management of idiopathic toe walking.
  • Discuss and analyze current evidence-based physical therapy intervention protocols in the management of idiopathic toe walking.
  • Discuss and analyze an evidence-based physical therapy clinical practice algorithm in the management of idiopathic toe walking from referral to discharge.

Prerequisites - None

Instructional Level - Intermediate

Instructor - Betty McNeff, PT, DPT, PCS

Betty McNeff  has been practicing physical therapy since 1999. She received her Master of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine, FL and transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy from A.T. Still University, AZ.   She is founder of a home-health multi-disciplinary pediatric agency in Gilbert, AZ which she managed for eight years. She has served as a distance learning adjunct faculty for the online transitional DPT Program at A.T. Still University, Mesa AZ since 2009.  Dr. McNeff  has also worked as lead sports physical therapist at All Children’s Hospital Tampa Outpatient Center and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of South Florida. She recently returned to home health clinical practice serving the pediatric population.  Her primary interests include the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research of youth sports related injuries; as well as a life span approach to the treatment and research of individuals with long-term disabilities. She has been an active member of the APTA since 1997 with current membership in the Sport Physical Therapy and Pediatric Sections.  She is also an APTA Certified Clinical Instructor and Pediatric Clinical Specialist.


  • Satisfactory completion of this course will require the participant pass a 10 question post-test with a minimum score of 70%.


Meets Requirements of: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MD, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
Contact Hours: 2