Background: Congenital vertical talus (CVT), also known as “rocker-bottom foot”, is a rare foot deformity associated with a dislocation of the talonavicular joint. Although genetic causes of CVT have been described in single isolated and syndromic families, whole-exome sequencing (WES) of large cohorts have not yet been reported. Methods: In this study, 62 probands with CVT were evaluated for likely causative single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number variants (CNVs) using WES. Segregation of variants within families was determined by Sanger sequencing. Results: In this cohort, CVT occurred as an isolated anomaly in 75.8% (47/62) and was familial in 19.3% (12/62) of cases. Analysis of WES data led to the identification of likely causative variants in known disease genes in 30.6% (19/62) of all CVT probands. More than one proband had likely causative SNVs in TSHZ1, GDF5, and LMX1B. Only two probands had likely causative CNVs: a chromosome 12q13.13 deletion of the 5’ HOXC gene cluster, and a chromosome 18q22.3q23 deletion involving TSHZ1. Familial CVT was strongly predictive of identifying a molecular diagnosis [75% (9/12) of familial cases compared to 20% (10/50) of non-familial cases (Chi-square test, P-value = 0.0002)]. There was no difference in the solved rate based on isolated or syndromic presentation, unilateral or bilateral affectation, or sex. Conclusions: CVT is genetically heterogeneous and more often caused by SNVs than CNVs. There is a high yield of WES in familial CVT cases (∼75%). Additional research is needed to identify the causes of sporadic CVT, which had much lower solved rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104514
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Congenital vertical talus
  • Genetics
  • Genomics


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