Equinus deformity

Equinus or spastic equinovarus is a foot deformity that most commonly occurs secondary to cerebral stroke (CVA) or cerebral palsy, but may also be a congenital deformity. The pathology causes gait abnormality in patients and is a very real handicap when it comes to mobility. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.

To diagnose equinus deformity caused by brain injury, the physician assesses the stretch resistance of the muscle of the affected limb and the impact of the spasticity on the patient’s daily life.

The specialist carries out the evaluation in three parts:

  • Positive diagnosis: consisting of confirming whether the patient has talipes equinovarus (or clubfoot), or if the feet were simply malpositioned in the uterus. The latter cases are far more prevalent and are much easier to correct.
  • Severity diagnosis: used to evaluate the severity grade, usually according to the Diméglio and Bensahel classification scale, based on:
    • the reducibility score: on a scale from 0 to 4 according to the vertical angle of the foot.
    • severity criteria such as the presence of medial creases, posterior creases, cavus (an exaggeration of the arch of the foot) or hypertonia (excess muscle tone).
  • Etiological diagnosis: to determine the causes of the pathology or its idiopathic nature.

The severity of equinus deformity varies.

The chief causes of equinus deformity are cerebral stroke (CAV) in adults, and cerebral palsy in children.

Worldwide, more than 100,000 children are born with equinus deformity.

Last update 13/04/2017