Pes planovalgus

Improving the malposition

A normal foot is supported by two foot arches: the anterior transverse arch and the longitudinal arch. They support the foot, cushion it and create the typical footprint. When the longitudinal arch is flattened and the sole of the foot touches the ground completely, this is known as a flat foot or “fallen arches”. Sometimes there is also a lateral buckling of the heel. This foot malposition is called pes planovalgus. As a rule, the foot corrects itself with growth in the first few years of life. However, in some cases, treatment is unavoidable.

Our specialists at Schoen Clinic have many years of experience in treating pes planovalgus in infants, children and adolescents. We do everything in our power to compensate for or improve the foot malposition in the best possible way.

Causes & symptoms

Causes: How pes planovalgus develops

One reason is a family predisposition: If parents or grandparents have pes planovalgus, there is a high probability that children will develop the same foot malposition. The shortening of the Achilles tendon is a frequent cause of the development of pes planovalgus. Deviations of the lower extremities, such as knock-knees and bow-leggedness, can also promote the development of pes planovalgus. Pronounced joint hypermobility is also a possible cause. 

If there is severe pes planovalgus deformity in infancy, it must be clarified whether or not it is congenital flat foot (vertical talus). In adolescents with inflexible pes planovalgus, the presence of what is called tarsal coalition, a congenital fusion of tarsal bones, must be considered. 

Symptoms: possible symptoms with pes planovalgus

Pes planovalgus exists in numerous forms. Normally, the malposition causes no pain and, in many cases, does not need to be treated. However, if symptoms such as foot pain and limited mobility occur, action must be taken. This can be the case, for example, for adolescents in whom the tarsal bones have grown together. 


Diagnosis: How we diagnose pes planovalgus

Besides the detailed medical history, pes planovalgus is diagnosed by means of a clinical examination of the foot and the lower extremities. In addition, the diagnosis is confirmed by imaging procedures such as X-rays and, in rare cases, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.