Forefoot malformations, deformities and other congenital defects in children

Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2020 Feb;106(1S):S115-S123. doi: 10.1016/j.otsr.2019.03.021. Epub 2019 Oct 21.


Congenital pathologies of the forefoot encompass two broad entities with vastly different treatments and prognosis: malformations, which occur during the embryonic period and cause anatomical defects, and deformations, which occur during the fetal period on a foot that is configured normally. These deformities are more easily cured when they occur later during the fetal period. When the anomaly is bilateral, a genetic origin must be considered. There are two main entities under the term "deformity": metatarsus adductus and skewfoot (aka "Z"-foot or serpentine foot). Within malformations are brachydactyly (transverse defects), longitudinal defects, syndactyly, polydactyly, clinodactyly and macrodactyly. Among other forefoot abnormalities are hallux valgus, which rarely presents in congenital form, and for which conservative treatment is sometimes sufficient. Also in this group are sequelae of amniotic band constriction, forefoot anomalies secondary to the treatment of congenital pathologies (talipes equinovarus and congenital vertical talus) and nail-related pathologies (ingrown toe nail and incorrect nail position).

Keywords: Child; Congenital defect; Forefoot; Hallux valgus; Metatarsus varus; Nail pathology; Skewfoot; Surgery; Toe anomaly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Metatarsal Bones / abnormalities*
  • Metatarsal Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography