What is Clubfoot?

Clubfoot, also called congenital talipes equino varus, is a condition in which the forefoot (part of the foot connected to the lower leg bone) is abnormally twisted relative to the lower leg bone to point inward and downward. This may happen to one or both feet.

There are two types of clubfoot:

  • Postural clubfoot, which involves muscle imbalance and/or tightness but not bone or joint
  • Structural clubfoot, which involves the bone and joints of the foot, such that the child's foot cannot go through a full range of movement.

There are two causes of clubfoot:

  • Family history (genetics) and Intra-uterine positioning
  • Problem with the spinal cord in more severe cases

The condition is often obvious after the birth of the child, as one or both feet may be turned inwards. The calf muscle and the affected foot may be slightly smaller than normal and may not have the full range of movement.

Treatments may include:

  • A small cut to release the tight heel cord
  • Bracing for up to three years
  • Manipulation of the feet and cast application to achieve gradual correction
  • Tendon transfer at the foot in cases of recurrence in an older child

An abnormal walking pattern and foot pain due to the incorrect foot position may develop.

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