Foot deformities caused by birth defects or external damages could lead to complications. Depending on the type and severity, a foot deformity can go unnoticed or cause pain when walking and performing daily activities. Deformities that cause problems can be treated through either nonsurgical or surgical care.
- Cavus foot (high arch) is when there is an abnormally high arch in the foot and the ball of the foot carries most of the weight in movement.
- Clubfoot is when an infant is born with feet turned inward and pointed down. If left untreated, clubfoot causes inability to walk normally.
- Equinus foot is when the foot points down with the heel off the ground. This condition forces you to walk on the front and middle part of the foot.
- Fallen arch is when the arches in the feet lower over time. Fallen arches can develop into flat foot — when the sole completely touches the ground.
- Splayfloot (flat arch) is a deformity in which the bones in the foot spread out and widen the front of the foot.
- Calluses due to thickened skin
- Changes in gait
- Pain in feet and other areas of the body
- Strain on other joints
- Wearing proper footwear can prevent several types of toe and foot deformities.
- Foot deformities determined by genetics are correctable, but not preventable.
- Health conditions, such as muscle or nerve conditions that weaken the muscles
- Crowding in the uterus
- A parent who was born with a foot deformity
- Physical examination. The physician will examine the area to suggest proper treatment options, rehabilitation or preventive care.
- Imaging. The healthcare provider may order X-rays to aid in formulating a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will recommend either nonsurgical or surgical treatment based on the child’s specific diagnosis.
- Cavus is often treated through bracing or with orthotic devices and shoe modifications to support and stabilize the foot.
- Clubfoot treatment may include stretching and casting legs and feet or surgical treatment.
- Equinus is often treated with orthotic devices, heel lift inserts, night splints or physical therapy.
- Fallen arch can be treated with bracing and orthotic devices.
- Surgery can be effective for flatfoot.
- Splayfoot can be helped with shoe inserts and physical therapy. Surgery can realign the toes or repair damaged areas.
- After surgery, physician instructions could include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE method), use of cane or crutches to assist in recovery, and walking restrictions after surgery.
- Discuss nonsurgical follow-up care specific to your child’s diagnosis with his or her physician.