This is a disorder occurring in approximately 5 out of all 100 births. The defect in the joint of the foot is believed to be caused due to incorrect positioning in the womb. This defect appears to be more common in females and can occur on one foot or on both feet. This condition does not cause any pain to the infant and is self-correcting in 90 per cent of the cases. In some extreme cases, the top of the foot may touch the front of the lower leg.

Symptoms of Calcaneovalgus:

This defect is the opposite of clubfoot. The new-born baby’s foot appears stretched outward and upward and the leg muscles are tight. In very severe cases, the upper part of the foot may touch the shin bone. This defect gets corrected spontaneously in most infants by the first year of life. 

Origin: The term Calcaneovalgus describes the position of the foot. In medical terms, the foot pointing upwards is described as being calcaneus. The position of the foot pointing outwards is described as valgus.

Cause of Calcaneovalgus: The cause is usually due to the foetus being in a cramped position in the womb in the last trimester of pregnancy. The foetus may find less space in the womb and the limb forced to be in the Calcaneovalgus Position.

Any child born with a foot deformity must be evaluated by a physician.  It is best to diagnose at the earliest in the infant stage itself as it can be hard to treat this problem in an older child.The deformity is confirmed by a physical examination by the doctor immediately after birth.
Prognosis for a complete cure is extremely bright if treatment starts immediately, since the infants joints are supple and the baby is not ambulatory at this stage. Though the infant’s foot appears to be placed abnormally, the tendons and muscles are usually well formed. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment should be started immediately. Hourly stretching of the foot and leg should be initiated.
In severe cases, splinting of the leg may be required. Once the child is mobile, especially cast shoes may be required to correct the deformity. In very severe cases where ankle bones are missing, surgical intervention may be required.

Exercises to treat Calcaneovalgus

Mild deformity:  the infant’s foot is moved down and up 3 times, holding till a count of ten. This exercise should be done at every diaper change or at least 10 times a day
Medium deformity: special high top lace up shoes made to order may be prescribed to hold the foot in position and to stretch the joint into position.
Severe deformity: the foot is cast and changed every 1-2 weeks to check the position of the joint. After 8-12 weeks of continuous splinting, night time splints may be prescribed.

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