What Is Calcaneovalgus Foot?
When we talk about foot deformities in children one such deformity is the Calcaneovalgus Foot in which the foot of the child appears to be pushed up against the front part of the leg. To better explain the meaning of Calcaneovalgus, the word "Calcaneo" signifies upward positioning of the foot and "Valgus" signifies outward positioning of the foot. Hence in this condition the foot is positioned upward and outward. This deformity is normally caused while the baby is still unborn and one of the reasons for this deformity is crowding around the foot.
What Are The Causes Of Calcaneovalgus Foot?
Calcaneovalgus Foot is normally caused due to abnormal positioning of the foot of the fetus usually due to crowding. This condition is also associated with other problems due to crowding within the uterus like hip dysplasia and muscular torticollis. Since Calcaneovalgus Foot is sometimes associated with hip dysplasia hence it is recommended that children identified as having this condition be checked for hip dysplasia as well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Calcaneovalgus Foot?
Calcaneovalgus Foot is a visible deformity of the foot but there are some classic clinical features of this condition like the forefoot of the child will be abducted and the ankle will be acutely in dorsiflexion. There will also be presence of heel valgus. Also visible will be that the plantar surface of the foot will be extremely flat. This condition is quite similar to Vertical Talus but in actuality Calcaneovalgus Foot and Vertical Talus are two different conditions with the main difference being that in Calcaneovalgus Foot the heel is able to be dorsiflexed and the foot is not that stiff which is the case with Vertical Talus.
How Is Calcaneovalgus Foot Treated?
Calcaneovalgus Foot deformity more often than not resolves on its own with time, although the treating physician may recommend some stretching exercises to speed up correction. It usually takes a couple of months after birth for the foot to come back to its normal position. In some acute cases serial casting may be required to correct the deformity. In some cases where the foot becomes inflexible it may be due to some other underlying cause and needs advice of a specialist orthopedist. Use of orthotics has not been shown to be effective in treating Calcaneovalgus Foot even though in some acute cases where a child suffers from paralytic conditions then an AFO may be of some help for an infant. It is impossible to alter the growth or development of a Calcaneovalgus Foot.
Surgery by far has not been recommended and there is no literature to show any positive results of surgery on Calcaneovalgus Foot and just the presence of Calcaneovalgus Foot does not mean that the child will need aggressive treatment as it is quite a benign condition. Some children in extremely acute cases may need tendon transfers or hindfoot stabilization procedures. Some literature has shown that an arthrodesis procedure has been of help in children above the age of 10 having Calcaneovalgus Foot deformity.