Vertical talus, also known as a “rocker bottom foot,” is a rare congenital foot deformity that is present from birth, often manifesting as a flat foot. It can affect one or both feet and is initially painless in newborns and toddlers. However, if left untreated, this condition can lead to significant discomfort and mobility issues in adulthood.
Vertical talus occurs when the talus bone, which helps create the foot’s shape, develops incorrectly. This results in the other bones of the foot failing to form in their typical arrangement, causing the front of the foot to point upward and sometimes touch the lower leg. Additionally, the foot exhibits a curved bottom known as a ‘rocker bottom’ and lacks the typical arch, distinguishing it from conditions like clubfoot.
Vertical talus is not initially painful for very young children, but if not addressed, it can lead to severe discomfort and disability later in life. Calluses and skin-related issues could arise if a child with the condition starts to walk before being treated.
The exact cause of vertical talus is unclear, but it’s often associated with neurological disorders or syndromes. To gain a better understanding of your baby’s condition, your doctor may run additional tests to check for any possible links with conditions like spina bifida, arthrogryposis, or related syndromes.