One hundred seventy-six of 209 consecutive new patients were examined over a 6-week period for the presence or absence of equinus deformity in the course of their workup for their primary complaint. Of the patients examined, 96.5% exhibited restricted ankle dorsiflexion requiring compensation during gait. Foot complaints were categorized into medial, lateral, and rearfoot problems. The high incidence of equinus reflects "acquired deformity" related to factors of lifestyle that leave the posterior muscles at a physiologic disadvantage toward maintaining flexibility. There is a significant relation between compensation for ankle equinus and podiatric pathology. More attention should be directed at the evaluation of ankle range of motion during examination of common foot problems. Gastrosoleal stretching is an important treatment modality that can lead to a higher success rate of conservative treatment. It can decrease the need for foot surgery, and significantly reduce the number of failed or serial surgical procedures.

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