• Spitzfuß | © Pohlig GmbH
    Foot malpositions
    Drop foot

Tip-toe gait

Drop foot

Symptoms and causes

Drop foot (drop foot) is a foot deformity in which the heel is so high that it does not come into contact with the ground. This causes the patients to walk on the tips of their toes. Many do not manage to place their entire foot on the ground and roll it off. Due to the unusual foot position, the Achilles tendon can be shortened, causing the entire leg to function improperly.

Drop foot appears either by itself or in combination with other foot malpositions (club foot,high arch, flat valgus foot etc.).

A distinction is generally made between neurological or syndromic and non-neurological causes.

Spitzknickfuß | © Pohlig GmbH

Neurological or syndromic causes include, for example:

  • Infantile cerebral palsy (the most common here is neurogenic drop foot)

Neurogenic or idiopathic drop foot?

The most common – especially in childhood – are neurogenic and idiopathic drop foot:

The most common occurrence of drop foot is in neurological underlying diseases where the interaction between CNS, nerves and muscles is impaired (neuromuscular disorders). This is the case with spastic paralysis, such as infantile cerebral palsy.

Children with idiopathic drop foot walk on the tips of their toes from the very beginning, but, unlike children with neurogenic drop foot, they can also stand on the entire foot and walk with normal rolling movement. However, they seem to find the tip-toeing more comfortable.

The cause of idiopathic or habitual toe gait is unknown.However, a neurological underlying disease is ruled out.

Children often walk on the tips of their toes when learning to walk. However, they usually develop a normal gait pattern on their own over time. If this is not the case, long-term consequential damage may occur, such as Achilles tendon contractures, foot malpositions or damage to the spine. In light of all this, it is important to treat idiopathic drop foot.

Start as early as possible!

Treatment options with orthoses

Early treatment is of great importance for both idiopathic and neurogenic drop foot. Both conservative and surgical measures (partly in combination)are possible.

In addition to physiotherapy and Botox injections, orthoses are used in a conservative manner relatively frequently to treat toe walking.

Unterschenkelorthese mit ringförmiger Fußfassung | © Pohlig GmbH

There are usually two different types of orthoses for this:

  • Functional orthoses are worn when walking. They aim to reach a heel ball gait, whereas
  • positioning heels are worn at night when the leg is not under stress. They stretch the muscles and improve joint mobility.

With our lower leg orthosis with a ring-shaped foot socket, we can exclusively offer an orthopedic aid with a high success rate in the treatment of drop foot when correctly indicated. What makes this device so special is that it can be worn during the day and at night, thus combining both objectives – improving the gait and stretching the soft tissues.

Special orthosis shoes, with their differently shaped soles, support the desired effect of the care of the device.

If conservative therapy with orthoses does not lead to the desired success, or if further deformities are present, surgical steps may be necessary.


Icon Oberschenkelorthese | © Pohlig GmbH
Orthoses for foot, leg and hip

An orthosis is used to stabilize, relieve, immobilize, guide or correct limbs. This prevents or corrects incorrect postures and strains.

Icon von einem Orthesenschuh | © Pohlig GmbH
Shoes for orthoses wearers

When choosing orthotic shoes, it is important for the combination of orthotic and shoe to be right for the purpose and for the desired effect of the treatment to be achieved. There are numerous models with different designs.

Drop foot treatment

Dynamic drop foot is one of the most common motor impairments in ICP patients. In 2005, Dr. Monique Baise and Kurt Pohlig published a paper on successful correction using a lower leg orthosis.

New trade article

Habitual toe walking

In the treatment of the idiopathic or habitual toe walking, no form of treatment has been able to prevail among the large number of therapeutic approaches. The study presented here examined a therapeutic approach in which children with habitual toe walking were treated using lower leg orthoses with ring-shaped foot sockets. The results are promising.