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Vertical Talus

What is Vertical Talus?

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.

What does Vertical Talus feel like?

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.

What causes Vertical Talus?

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. 

What are the non-surgical options for Vertical Talus?

In the initial stages, stretching and casting are typically used to improve the flexibility and mobility of the foot. For many patients, these measures are sufficient to correct most deformities, leading to successful treatment. Doctors might recommend a combination of physical therapy exercises and bracing to enhance the stretching and strengthening of the foot.

What are the surgical options for Vertical Talus?

If non-invasive treatments do not provide adequate results, surgery might be recommended within 9 to 12 months from birth. Surgical intervention aims to correct the deformity by realigning the bones, securing them in their new positions with pins, and adjusting tendons and ligaments that have become shortened over time. Skilled surgeons perform these adjustments with precision to restore the foot to its natural position.

Contact Us

For further inquiries or to arrange a consultation, please contact Professor Al Muderis’ office at +61 2 88829011 or book an appointment online.