The talus is a bone in your child’s foot. It is located between the heel bone (calcaneus) and your shin bones (tibia/fibula).  This bone allows you and your child to transfer your weight across the ankle. When born, your bub’s foot may be positioned up and out, often touching the outside of the calf. The heel often points outwards and is raised creating a “rocker bottom” look to your bubs foot.

This is a rare condition affecting 1 in 10,000 children. The cause of vertical talus is unknown but can be linked to other conditions that affect the muscles or to a genetic syndrome. This is something that should be discussed with your regular doctor to rule out any associated conditions.

Vertical talus is a congenital condition meaning “present from birth”. Diagnosis may be seen during one of your prenatal ultrasound screenings. Postnatally confirmation through a physical assessment, family medical history and x-rays can be used in addition.

You may be asking when you should start investigating treatment options for your bub. Treatment should ideally be provided prior to your child walking, but preferably before the age of 2. If congenital vertical talus is confirmed by health care professionals and imaging surgery is required to correct the bone position. Following surgery, the foot is placed in a series of casts for several weeks to ensure good bone position is maintained. Casting along with stretching following surgery may take up to 2 years to fully correct vertical talus. Surgical outcomes are typically favorable, some children may need orthotics to encourage proper foot alignment during periods of growth.

Parents should know there is a less severe variant of vertical talus known as oblique talus. Similar to vertical talus, the talus bone isn’t aligned correctly at the ankle joint however, the bones of the foot can be corrected when a practitioner moves them into place. This variant is less severe and can be treated by stretching or casting alone in most cases.

Congenital Vertical Talus is a condition that will involve input from multiple practitioners. The input of a paediatric orthopedic specialist will be vital for good long-term outcomes. If left untreated this condition can lead to ongoing bony deformities and difficulty with wearing shoes as they get older.

If you are concerned at all with your baby’s feet and would like an assessment, Bump Fitness strives to work with not just you but your greater medical team. This ensures that your baby is cared for using the multi-disciplinary team approach, to improve outcomes.


Agrawal U, Tiwari V. Congenital Vertical Talus. [Updated 2023 Aug 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:

Image: Vertical Talus – OrthoInfo – AAOS