What is it?

Clubfoot (talipes equinovarus) is a congenital defect in one or both feet in which the baby’s feet are rotated inwards. In this disorder, the tendons are shorter than usual, the bones have unusual shape and the Achilles tendon is tightened. This condition is quite common, and if it is an isolated finding it is not dangerous. Club foot ranges from mild to severe and without treatment it can make it difficult for the child to walk normally and arthritis. Causes for clubfoot are unknown but it can sometimes be associated with other conditions and abnormalities such as spina bifida. Family history of fracture, smoking during pregnancy and oligohydramnios are risk factors for clubfoot.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Talipes equinovarus
- Talipes Equinovarus

Signs & symptoms

The feet of a child with clubfoot will look twisted downward and inward. increasing arch and turning the heel inward. If there is only one foot affected, it can look shorter. The calf muscles are underdeveloped. It does not cause the child any discomfort or pain.


Clubfoot diagnosis is a clinical diagnosis made based upon physical examination- the shape and the positioning of the feet. X-RAY can also be performed. It can also be diagnosed during pregnancy in an ultrasound. When finding clubfoot on ultrasound it is important to look for other findings.


Treatment for clubfoot must begin very early, in the first week or two of life. The Ponseti method, or stretching and casting, is the most common treatment for clubfoot. In this method, the baby's feet position is corrected and casted for fixation. Each week, the foot is recasted and repositiones for several months. Towards the end of this process, minor surgical procedure is done to lengthen the achilles tendon. At the end of this process, stretching and exercises must be done and there is a need to use special shoes or braces. If this method failed or the clubfoot is too severe, surgery must be done for repositioning the tendons and ligaments. After the surgery, casts will also be placed and then braces are used.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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