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Children that are diagnosed with Idiopathic Toe walking (cITW) are characterized by persistent toe-to-toe contacts. The objective of this study was to explore whether typical foot contact dynamics during walking predisposes cITW to a higher risk of falling. Twenty cITW and agematched controls performed typical and toe walking trials. The gait parameters related to foot contact dynamics, vertical force impulses during stance, slip, and trip risk were compared for both groups. We found that cITW manifest less stable gait and produced significantly higher force impulses during push-off. Additionally, we found that cITW had a higher slip-initiation risk that was associated with higher foot contact horizontal and vertical velocities in addition to lower transitional acceleration of center of mass. We found that cITW exhibited a higher trip risk with toe clearance being significantly lower when compared to healthy counterparts. This study allowed for a quantitative description of foot contact dynamics and delineated typical from toe walking among cITW. Overall, the results indicate that cITW are less stable during typical walking and are prone to a higher risk of slip and trip-like falls.


This article was originally published in Applied Sciences, volume 11, in 2021.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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