Table of contents:
- Possible causes
- What are the signs and symptoms
- How the diagnosis is made
- What the treatment consists of
Valgus foot, also known as flat foot, is characterized by a diminished or absent internal arch of the sole of the foot. This condition is very common in children and, in most cases, it resolves spontaneously, with the development of the bones and with the decrease of the elasticity of the ligaments, without the need for treatment.
However, in some cases, in which the arch does not develop on its own, and in which walking difficulties or imbalance arise, for example, treatment may be necessary, which can be done with adapted shoes, physiotherapy and exercises and, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Valgus foot is related to the tissues, tendons and bones of the feet and legs which, in infants and young children, are still developing and have not yet formed an arch. However, if the tendons are not fully tightened, valgus feet may result.
This condition is more common in people with a family history of foot valgus, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis. People who are more likely to be injured by this condition are those who are physically very active because they are more at risk of injury, the elderly because they are more prone to falls, and people with cerebral palsy.
What are the signs and symptoms
Valgus foot is characterized by a reduced or completely flat internal arch of the sole of the foot, which can lead to a deviation of the heels, being perceived in footwear, whose wear occurs on more than one side. In some cases, this condition can cause pain and difficulty walking, easy tiredness, imbalance or a greater propensity for injury.
See other causes of heel pain.
How the diagnosis is made
If the person feels imbalance, pain when walking when running, or shoes wear on only one side, they should go to an orthopedist for a diagnosis. These signs are usually noticed early in the child and, often, foot valgus ends up resolving on its own.
The doctor will observe the foot, the way of walking and, in children, may also perform a neurological examination, in order to exclude other diseases. In addition, you can also request some exercises to evaluate the behavior of the foot and image exams, such as X-ray.
What the treatment consists of
Usually no treatment is necessary, as the foot takes on a normal shape as the bones develop and the ligaments become less elastic.
However, in some cases, the orthopedist may recommend the use of special footwear, physical therapy and/or simple exercises, such as walking on tiptoe and heels, picking up objects with the feet or walking in uneven floors, in order to strengthen the muscles in the region.
Surgery is a very rare option and is generally only recommended in more severe cases, where the valgus foot has worsened or where other treatment options have not resolved the problem.