Do you know what are the most common congenital foot anomalies?

The health of the feet has a great impact on the overall quality of life. Every day, our feet carry us through life, distribute our weight and accompany us in all our movements. The foot is at the same time a support and a dynamic system for movement. The complex structure of the foot is an evolutionary miracle, and its structure is characteristic of the human species. Although the foot itself has a small surface area, it contains 25% of all bones in the body, 33 joints and numerous tendons, fascia, ligaments… The interesting part of the structure of the feet is that they contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body. Foot anomalies can significantly reduce the quality of life. Read all about the types of foot anomalies and the impact of deformations on the quality of life below.

Congenital foot anomalies

Congenital deformities of the feet are common and can vary from clinically insignificant to serious deformities. Anomalies of the structure of the foot significantly disrupt the statics and kinematics of the foot and must be treated as soon as possible. Treatment of congenital deformities is usually surgical. Disorders are divided into formation disorders and segmentation disorders. Formation disorders include aplasia, i.e., absence of development of a part of the foot or the entire foot. Disorders of formation refer to disorders of separation of segments, an example is fused fingers. In addition to segment separation disorders, we also include disorders of excessive division such as polydactyly, i.e. an excessive number of fingers. Disorders do not have to be isolated and very often one can encounter mixed disorders in which one part of the foot is not developed and the other part has a disturbed formation. Disorders can be isolated or accompanied by other deformities as part of genetically linked diseases (Down syndrome, Patau syndrome, Edwards syndrome…). The most common congenital foot diseases are:

Polydactyly – the existence of more than five fingers on the foot or hand. In the following text, only cases of extra toes will be discussed. Polydactyly is a congenital disease because it always occurs at birth, and there are different types of polydactylies. In most cases, polydactyly is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. The sixth finger can have all the bones like the other fingers, but it is not unusual to have a finger made only of muscle tissue. Such cases are simply treated surgically. Certain diseases are associated with the frequent occurrence of polydactyly, namely: Down’s syndrome, Carpenter’s syndrome, Patau syndrome… The symptoms caused by polydactyly do not have to be expressed. Problems are most often caused by splayed toes, which make it difficult to buy shoes. DrLuigi medical footwear meets the needs of people with the mentioned problem since it does not squeeze the feet, and the wider front part leaves room for the foot. In addition to finding adequate footwear, people with polydactyly may have difficulty moving and maintaining balance. If there is not enough space between the toes due to too many toes, then there is a greater chance of developing fungal infections, excessive sweating of the feet, blisters, calluses…

Pes equinovarus congenitus – this deformity is also called clubfoot. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, but deformations can be detected in the 16th week of pregnancy during an ultrasound examination. The anomaly is very complex and basically consists of several anomalies. The first part of the deformation consists of equinus, i.e. the foot in the position of plantar flexion. Plantar flexion is a position like that in which the foot is when we stand on our toes. Furthermore, the deformation is caused by the varus position of the heel and the inversion of the foot. Inversion of the foot is a position like the one in which we remove a thorn from the foot. Adductus means the central displacement of the front part of the foot. Excavatus foot refers to a sunken foot. In the past, it was considered that treatment should be started as soon as possible (immediately after birth), but later it was realized that the establishment of the child’s relationship with the mother is more important than quick surgical treatment. Therapy should never be postponed, but in today’s practice there has been a certain delay in the beginning of treatment precisely because of emotional reasons. The therapy includes straightening the foot using a cast that brings the foot into the correct position. Such a position is also called a neutral position. Adductus, equinus, varus are corrected… If the child has a shortened Achilles tendon, it is surgically lengthened using a thumb tendon graft. The function of the thumb is not impaired. After correction with a cast, the child must wear special shoes called a Denis-Brown orthosis. For the first three months, shoes are worn 23 hours a day, and later only at night, i.e. only when the child is sleeping.

Macrodactyly – enlargement of fingers in which only one finger or all fingers can be enlarged. The cause of macrodactyly is unknown, and the phenomenon itself occurs more often with diseases such as neurofibromatosis. Due to enlarged toes, there is a disturbance in the statics of the feet. Movement can also be difficult. It is very difficult for people with macrodactyly to find suitable shoes. DrLuigi footwear in its offer includes numerous models whose mold can meet the needs of people with macrodactyly. The treatment is surgical, and the methods depend on the involvement of the feet and the severity of the clinical picture.

Pes fissus – crab foot or cleft foot is a deformity in which one or more toes are missing along with their metatarsal part. This deformity is detected at birth and is very severe since it significantly impedes mobility.

A.A.
06.07.2022.