What is Skewfoot?
A skewfoot is a congenital birth defect affecting the formation and growth of the bones in the foot. Some doctors will also refer to this as a “Z”-foot, serpentine foot, or severe metatarsus adductus. Most children with skewfoot have a foot that appears to hook inward or has a “C” shaped appearance.
The following are symptoms associated with skewfoot in children:
- Abnormal walk
- Ankle bone, heel bone or navicular bone are out of alignment
- The cuneiform bone in the middle of the arch of the foot is triangular instead of square
- The five metatarsal bones of the foot are turned inward
Diagnosis and Treatment
Skewfoot is difficult to diagnose in young children because the bones are still growing and the exact shape of the foot has not yet been determined until the child is around six years old. When a child is six years old, podiatrist can better diagnose skewfoot with an MRI or x-ray of the foot.
Treatment for skewfoot depends on the child’s age at diagnosis and the severity of the condition. A child under the age of six may be required to wear wide or special shoes. Some non-surgical procedures include vigorous stretching exercise and casting. If the child is in severe pain or has difficulty walking, surgery may be necessary.
Surgery to correct skewfoot consists of cutting the bones in the foot, tightening ligaments, inserting pins, and putting the foot in a cast to keep the bones in place. A child that has undergone skewfoot surgery will need to stay off their feet and not walk for six weeks post-surgery. After six weeks, the child is reevaluated and may be placed in a walking cast for another month.