Ankle valgus and clubfeet

P M Stevens, S Otis
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 1999, 19 (4): 515-7
Congenital equinovarus is a complex deformity that involves the ankle as well as the foot. Although equinus is the obvious and presenting ankle deformity that is typically addressed with serial manipulation, casts, and surgery, ankle valgus is a more insidious and often overlooked problem that evolves with growth. With a high prevalence (67% in this series), it may, in some cases, ameliorate the effects of residual hindfoot varus. More commonly, it may result in prominence of the medial malleolus, lateral shift of the ground reactive forces, compression of the lateral portion of the distal tibial epiphysis, fibular impingement, and excessive shoe wear. If mistaken for hindfoot valgus ("overcorrected clubfoot"), inappropriate hindfoot surgery may result. Although one may temporize with orthoses, definitive treatment options include medial malleolar epiphysiodesis or, in mature patients, supramalleolar osteotomy. We recommend a weight-bearing anteroposterior radiograph of the ankles in any patient presenting with valgus and suspected of having overcorrected congenital equinovarus, particularly if surgical intervention is being contemplated. If valgus deformity is noted in the ankle, hindfoot surgery may be contraindicated.

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