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A new approach to the treatment of congenital vertical talus.

Congenital vertical talus is an uncommon foot deformity that is present at birth and results in a rigid flatfoot deformity. Left untreated the deformity can result in pain and disability. Though the exact etiology of vertical talus is unknown, an increasing number of cases have been shown to have a genetic cause. Approximately 50% of all cases of vertical talus are associated with other neuromuscular abnormalities or known genetic syndromes. The remaining 50% of cases were once thought to be idiopathic in nature. However, there is increasing evidence that many of these cases are related to single gene defects. Most patients with vertical talus have been treated with major reconstructive surgeries that are fraught with complications such as wound necrosis, talar necrosis, undercorrection of the deformity, stiffness of the ankle and subtalar joint, and the eventual need for multiple operative procedures. Recently, a new approach to vertical talus that consists of serial casting and minimal surgery has resulted in excellent correction in the short-term. Longer follow-up will be necessary to ensure maintenance of correction with this new technique. A less invasive approach to the correction of vertical talus may provide more favorable long-term outcomes than more extensive surgery as has been shown to be true for clubfoot outcomes.

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