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Sometimes called "Z" or serpentine foot, skewfoot affects the formation and growth of the bones in the foot.

Hooking inward, the foot has a C-shaped appearance. Skewfoot may not be diagnosed until the child is approximately 6 years old; at this age, the shape of the growing foot has been better determined. An X-ray can help confirm the diagnosis. These tools will show characteristics of skewfoot, which include:

  • Ankle bone, heel bone or navicular bone are out of alignment.
  • The cuneiform bone in the middle of the arch of the foot is triangular instead of square.
  • The five metatarsal bones of the foot are turned inward.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Skewfoot Treatment

Treatment for skewfoot depends on the child’s age at diagnosis and the severity of the condition.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical options include intense stretching exercises and casting. For children under age 6, special shoes may be helpful. Surgery is rarely necessary for skewfoot, and is only considered if the child is in severe pain or has difficulty walking.

Surgical Treatment

To correct skewfoot surgically, bones in the foot are cut and repositioned into more normal alignment. A cast is applied to protect the foot as it heals. For a minimum of six weeks, the child cannot walk or stand. After this six-week period, if healing is progressing well, the child may receive a walking cast.

If a child does require surgery, care managers play an important role in their journey. We help all of our families navigate through the entire process — including hospitalization and discharge.
Kelly Moore, Greenville
male patient and therapist during physical therapy session

Physical Therapy Addresses Numerous Conditions

Physical therapy focuses on the lower extremities, and can be used to address a wide range of conditions. Treating only pediatric patients, our physical therapists understand the importance of incorporating fun into a rehabilitation routine.

Innovative Treatments

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Shriners Children's care team specializes in putting children at ease during casting, a common treatment for fractures.

Radiology and Imaging

Shriners Children's radiology and imaging services are a noninvasive way for physicians to see what's going on inside a child's body. Our radiology and imaging professionals work to do this in the safest way possible.

Pediatric Surgery

Shriners Children's world-renowned pediatric surgery program gives us the ability to help children who have a variety of conditions, including those they were born with, as well as those that develop over time or are the result of an injury.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.