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What is Clubfoot?

Clubfoot is a disorder where the foot remains in an inward and downward position. Clubfoot is present at birth.

Clubfoot can be mild or severe and it can affect one foot or both feet. It occurs in about 1 per 1,000 live births.

Clubfoot is also called Talipes equinovarus, and Talipes.

What Causes Clubfoot?

The exact cause of clubfoot is unknown.

Symptoms of Clubfoot

The most common physical symptoms of clubfoot are:

  • The foot turns inward and downward at birth, resisting realignment.
  • The calf muscle and the foot may be slightly smaller than normal.

How is Clubfoot Diagnosed?

Clubfoot is diagnosed via a physical examination and a foot x-ray.

Can Clubfoot be Treated?

Yes. Treatment of clubfoot is designed to:

  1. Correct the deformity early.
  2. Correct the deformity fully
  3. Hold the correction until growth stops.

Treatment options include: casting, surgery, and physiotherapy

Casting may be begin from the 1st day of life to several weeks after birth. Casting is a procedure where the foot is pushed and twisted into an over corrected position by the Orthopedist. The cast is then applied in order to hold the foot into that position. Casts are usually changed every two weeks.

Surgery is usually recommended to a child of six months old.

Physiotherapy is primarily a non-surgical treatment that can begin when the child is three months old. Physiotherapy involves frequent visits by a physical therapist who tapes and/or manipulates the foot.

If clubfoot is left untreated, the child will walk on the outside top surface of the foot. The child may also experience corns, hard skin and ingrown toenails.


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