Deformity Correction

Common Deformities of the Lower Extremity

Deformities of the lower extremity are common. Some of the most common deformities include pes planovalgus (flatfoot), cavovarus (high arched foot), talipes equinovarus (clubfoot), and malunions related to trauma.

Pes Planovalgus (Flatfoot)

What is pes planovalgus?

Pes planovalgus is a condition where the normal arch of the foot is flattened. Pes planovalgus is a common condition and often has no symptoms. However, when there is pain associated with pes planovalgus, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon may be able to help diagnose the cause of the pain and offer treatment to improve symptoms.

Evaluation

At your initial evaluation, a thorough history and physical and examination will help guide treatment. Weightbearing x-rays will help evaluate for abnormalities in the foot and ankle.

Non-operative Treament

If you have not yet tried non-operative treatment for your painful flatfoot, this is the first-line treatment option. Options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, shoe wear modifications, and often times orthotics.

Operative Treatment

If non-operative treatment fails to alleviate pain associated with a flatfoot, surgery may be recommended. The type of surgery depends on numerous factors including age, the presence of arthritis in the foot, and the condition of the bones and tendons in the foot and ankle. Your surgeon may recommend an MRI or CT scan to better evaluate the anatomy of your foot and ankle.

Cavovarus Foot (High Arched Foot)

What is a cavovarus foot?

Cavovarus deformity is a condition where the arch is higher than normal. Many people have high arched feet without pain. However, when there is pain associated with cavovarus deformity, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeom may be able to help diagnose the cause of the pain and offer treatment to improve symptoms.

Evaluation

At your initial evaluation, a thorough history and physical and examination will help guide treatment. Weightbearing x-rays will help evaluate for abnormalities in the foot and ankle.

Non-operative Treament

If you have not yet tried non-operative treatment for your painful high arched foot, this is the first-line treatment option. Options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, shoe wear modifications, and often times orthotics.

Operative Treatment

If non-operative treatment fails to alleviate pain associated with a high arched foot, surgery may be recommended. The type of surgery depends on numerous factors including age, genetic conditions (e.g. Charcot-Marie-Tooth), the presence of arthritis in the foot, and the condition of the bones and tendons in the foot and ankle. Your surgeon may recommend an MRI or CT scan to better evaluate the anatomy of your foot and ankle.

Talipes Equinovarus (Clubfoot)

Our understanding of treatment of clubfoot has advanced significantly over the last 30 years. Clubfoot casting (Ponsetti casting) has revolutionized our treatment of clubfoot in newborns. However, many people born with a clubfoot have long lasting symptoms even with appropriate early treatment. If you are having pain related to your clubfoot, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon can help with a plan of action to relieve your pain.

Malunions

Lower extremity trauma is one of the most common causes for people to seek treatment in an emergency department. Over 300,000 visits to the emergency department occur every year for lower extremity trauma.

While the vast majority of patients requiring surgical fixation after a lower extremity fracture have complete recovery, some may experience persistent pain. The pain can be related to a number of reasons. A malunion is when a previous injury heals in the wrong position.

In the treatment of malunions, your surgeon must be skilled with the most recent surgical techniques and advances with implants in order to treat the pain effectively in the least amount of time possible. An orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon can help diagnose the cause of persistent pain after a previous traumatic injury.