A flexible calcaneovalgus foot is a postural deformity in infants which causes the foot to appear to be pushed up against the front of the leg. “Calcaneo” describes an upward-position of the foot, and “valgus” describes an outward position. Thus a calcaneovalgus foot is one that is positioned upward and outward.
The deformity is caused by abnormal positioning of the foot while the baby is in the uterus due to crowding. Calcaneovalgus feet can be associated with other problems caused by crowding in the uterus, including hip dysplasia and muscular torticollis in the neck. Due to the association with hip dysplasia, it is recommended that infants with calcaneovalgus feet have their hips examined by a trained healthcare provider.
Calcaneovalgus feet that are flexible will almost always improve spontaneously with time. Gentle stretching, such as during diaper changes, may facilitate improvement. Most feet will look normal within one to two months. Rarely, in the more severe cases, a series of casts may be required. Calcaneovalgus feet that are rigid may be due to a more serious foot problem and should be evaluated early by a pediatric orthopaedic specialist.
If your child was recently diagnosed with a calcaneovalgus foot deformity, schedule an appointment so we can evaluate it and make sure not only that the feet are flexible, but that the neck and hips appear normal as well.