Foot Deformities Specialist

Richmond Orthopedic Institute

Surgeons located in Richmond, VA

Foot deformities can occur from birth, but the most common deformities are those you develop in adulthood, like bunions and hammertoes. At Richmond Orthopedic Institute in Richmond, Virginia, leading local foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Anson Chu, is a foot deformity expert who can prescribe a personalized treatment plan for a permanent solution. Book your appointment online or call the office to arrange a consultation with Dr. Chu today.

Foot Deformities

What are foot deformities? 

A foot deformity is an irregularity in the shape or structure of your foot. Foot deformities sometimes (but not always) affect the appearance of the feet. 

A foot deformity also affects foot function, preventing you from moving like you should and sometimes causing problems in other parts of your foot. While some deformities exist from the time of birth (for example, clubfoot), most deformities develop much later in life. 

What are the most common foot deformities? 

The most common foot deformities include:


A bunion is a hard bump at the base of your big toe. It happens when that joint starts to separate, with the two bones pushing out to the side. A severe bunion can cause the big toe to overlap the smaller toes, which may make it nearly impossible to wear most shoes. Bunions can be very sore or even painful. 


Hammertoes occur when the middle joint of a small toe (the second, third, or fourth toes) bends down permanently. This creates a curled shape or an upside-down ā€œVā€ that can resemble a hammer. A hammertoe develops due to muscle imbalance in the toes, often from wearing tight shoes. Hammertoes and bunions frequently occur simultaneously. 


Flatfoot happens when your foot arch collapses or never develops. With flatfoot, your arch touches the floor when standing. This foot deformity can put undue pressure on the tissues and bones in your feet, often leading to soreness and pain.  

There are also many other foot deformities, including high arches, claw foot, and mallet toe.  

High-arched feet 

High-arched feet, or pes cavus, can be a hereditary or acquired foot deformity. Sometimes the underlying cause may be due to neurologic or neuromuscular disorders. Other times, the cause may just be structural in nature.

How are foot deformities treated? 

At Richmond Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Chu treats foot deformities according to their severity, the symptoms they cause, and how they affect your mobility. In the earlier stages of a foot deformity, conservative care such as custom orthotics, taping, and foot exercises might be helpful.  

If a foot deformity causes chronic pain, difficulty walking, or other serious problems, Dr. Chu may recommend surgery. In some cases, he can use small incisions and minimally invasive strategies to perform the surgery, which allows you to heal and return to walking faster.  

Every foot deformity is unique to the individual living with it, and Dr. Chu personalizes your solution to your problem. To get compassionate care for all types of foot deformities, call Richmond Orthopedic Institute or click on the online booking tool today.