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Children's Foot Deformities

Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Ankeny serving greater Des Moines, IA

Discovering your child has a foot deformity or birth defect can be overwhelming and scary, and you may wonder if you could’ve done something to prevent the condition or if your child will walk normally. Children’s foot deformities are quite common and can be treated successfully. Mindi Dayton, DPM, MHA, and Paul Dayton, DPM, MS, offer diagnosis and treatment for common and uncommon foot deformities at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa in Ankeny, Iowa. Schedule an appointment online or call the practice today.

Children's Foot Deformities Q & A

What are children’s foot deformities?

Children’s foot deformities describe a wide range of conditions affecting the muscles, bones, and tendons of the foot. The most common children’s foot deformities include flat foot, club foot, and metadductus.

What is flat foot?

Flat foot is a condition of the feet where the arches are flattened, causing the entire sole of each foot to touch the floor when you stand. Children with flat foot deformity either don’t develop arches during childhood or experience an injury that causes flat feet over time.

Flat foot can lead to ankle and knee problems since the condition affects the alignment of your legs. If there’s no pain associated with the flat foot condition, treatment isn’t usually necessary.

What is club foot?

Occurring in about one of every 1,000 births, a child with club foot has one or both feet that turn inward and point down. Club foot develops while a baby is still in the mother’s womb, 9-14 weeks gestation, and it’s often found during a routine ultrasound.

Club foot is more common in boys than girls. Many infants born with club foot have relatives with the condition.

How is club foot treated?

The majority of children with club foot are successfully treated with the Ponseti technique, which involves a process of manipulating the foot and casting the foot weekly. Treatment begins soon after birth as a newborn’s foot, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints are most receptive during this time. After the initial treatment, a long-term brace is worn to maintain proper alignment. Paul Dayton, DPM, MS and Mindi Dayton, DPM, MHA are both trained in and utilize the Ponseti casting technique for club foot. 

If the Ponseti technique is unsuccessful, club foot may require surgical treatment to correct the deformity.

What is metadductus?

A congenital children’s foot deformity, metadductus is also called the “C-shaped foot.” Children with metadductus are born with feet that curve inward to form the shape of a C.

Treatment for metadductus depends on how old the child is when diagnosed and the severity of the deformity, and may include:

  • Casting the feet
  • Serial X-rays to monitor the feet
  • Bracing
  • Modified shoes

Children with undiagnosed and untreated metadductus tend to trip frequently, have trouble fitting into shoes, and are often less active than other children.

If you suspect your child has a foot deformity, call Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa or use the convenient online tool to schedule an appointment today.