The equine foot is a deformity in the foot that is maintained constantly with a plantar flexion, that is to say as if it were permanently «on tiptoe». The patient will walk supporting only the forefoot, the fingers and the head of the metatarsals, keeping the heel and the rest of the upper back.
There are numerous causes for the appearance of an equine foot, among these the most frequent are:
Congenital equino-varus foot also called clubfoot: This is one of the most common forms of equine foot, develops in the intrauterine stage and is diagnosed at birth. These feet besides the equinism present other added deformities.
Neurological diseases: That increase the tension produced by the Achilles tendon producing plantar flexion of the foot. The lesion of the external popliteal sciatic nerve that is in charge of innervating the musculature that extends the opposing foot (which counteract) the Achilles tendon.
Other causes that can produce an equine foot are surgical interventions, sequels of fractures, rupture of extensor tendons of the foot, etc.
The equinus foot causes an imbalance in the transmission of the loads from the foot to the ground, this causes an overload on the head of the metatarsals that leads to a metatarsalgia or pain in the forefoot. In addition, the equine foot forces the foot to flex excessively to raise the foot and avoid rubbing the toe with the ground.
This will depend on the cause of the equine foot and the age of the patient. In the feet equino-varus or zambos the treatment must begin as soon as possible and includes the application of bandages, plasters and in many cases the surgery in charge of lengthening the Achilles tendon. When it is due to a lesion of the external popliteal sciatic nerve an orthosis called «friends’ ranch» will be placed.
When the responsible of the equine foot is an excess of traction of the Achilles tendon, it will be lengthened by surgery.