Deformities in the foot or ankle can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed over time due to various factors). These deformities can cause pain, discomfort, difficulty walking, and may require medical intervention. Here are some common foot/ankle deformities:
- Clubfoot - Clubfoot is a congenital deformity where the foot turns inward and downward. It is usually detected at birth and can affect one or both feet. Treatment often involves non-surgical methods, such as stretching, casting, and bracing, but in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
- Flatfoot - Flatfoot, also known as pes planus, is a condition where the arch of the foot is significantly reduced or absent, causing the entire sole to touch the ground. While some people have flexible flatfoot without symptoms, others may experience pain and difficulty with physical activities. Orthotic devices, supportive footwear, and exercises are often recommended. However, surgery may be considered for severe cases.
- High arches - High arches, or pes cavus, is a condition where the arch of the foot is abnormally raised. This can lead to instability, balance problems, and foot pain. Supportive shoes, orthotic inserts, and physical therapy exercises are often prescribed to provide relief and improve foot function.
- Bunions - A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, causing the toe to deviate toward the other toes. It can be painful and may lead to difficulty finding properly fitting shoes. Conservative treatment options include wearing roomy footwear, using orthotic devices, and applying ice or taking pain medications. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
- Hammertoes - Hammertoes occur when one or more of the toe joints become bent, causing the affected toe(s) to curl or buckle. They can be flexible or rigid and may result in pain and difficulty fitting into shoes. Non-surgical treatments include wearing properly fitting footwear, using orthotic devices, and performing toe-stretching exercises. Surgery may be considered for severe cases.
- Ankle instability - Ankle instability refers to a condition where the ligaments that support the ankle joint are weak or damaged, leading to recurrent ankle sprains or a feeling of giving way. Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and ligaments, bracing, and modifying activity levels are common treatments. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair or reconstruct the damaged ligaments.
It is essential to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and each case may vary in severity and treatment options. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra is highly experienced in treating all types of foot or ankle deformities.