Foot deformities

Foot deformities range from harmless blemishes to individualised malformations.


Foot deformities range from harmless blemishes to individualised malformations. They can cause pain or impair the way you walk. If insoles or physiotherapy don't result in improvement, an operation may provide relief.


Main symptoms

  • Pain (in particular when walking, doing sport, etc.)
  • Unsteady gait or limping
  • Horny skin in unusual places on the sole or bridge of the foot or the top of the toes (e.g. corns)

Faulty posture and protective limping also affect other joints of the body. For example, the hips have to bear more weight and develop signs of wear and tear (such as arthritis).

Causes and treatment


  • Genetic predisposition
  • Everyday faulty posture
  • Unsuitable shoes
  • Neurological or rheumatic diseases
  • Accidents

Brief description of some foot deformities

Flat foot and splay foot

The natural arch of the foot slowly collapses. The foot becomes flatter and also a little wider at the ball of the foot and the toes. There are many causes, ranging from genetic deformities to the wrong shoes.

Hollow foot

The natural arch of the foot is higher than normal. There is a sort of hump on the top of the foot. When the condition is pronounced, the middle section of the sole no longer touches the ground. This is often caused by a neurological disorder.

Foot drop and pes equinus

With foot drop, nerve damage means that the foot cannot be actively raised towards the knee any more. After a long time, the patient develops fixed equinus in which the heel is no longer lowered to the ground when walking.

Pes valgus

The ankle is “angled” inwards. Seen from behind, the calf and heel no longer form a straight line and the inside ankle bone is closer to the floor. Pes valgus is normal in small children.

Club foot

Club foot is a combination of various foot deformities, with the result that the foot becomes twisted into an abnormal position. The toes are curled, the entire foot at the ankle is rotated inward and downward. It is a congenital defect and can be corrected with a series of casts.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Precise observation of the patient when standing and lying and precise measurement of the feet and legs
  • Analysis of weight-bearing capacity of the feet
  • X-ray
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
Possible therapies
  • Physiotherapy
  • Insoles
  • Splints
  • Operation (correction or fusion)

What can I do myself?

  • Take care to wear good, comfortable shoes
  • Walking barefoot strengthens the foot muscles
  • Do special foot exercises as instructed
  • Reduce overweight

When to see a doctor?

  • Increasing pain in the feet
  • Change in the way you walk (limping, compensatory posture, etc.)
  • All foot deformities in small children and babies (growth disorders)


Foot deformities, Flat foot and splay foot, Flat foot, Splay foot, Hollow foot, Foot drop and pes equinus, Pes valgus, Club foot

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.