Learn About Clubfoot

What is the definition of Clubfoot?

Clubfoot is a condition that involves both the foot and lower leg when the foot turns inward and downward. It is a congenital condition, which means it is present at birth.

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Clubfoot?

Talipes equinovarus; Talipes

What are the causes of Clubfoot?

Clubfoot is the most common congenital disorder of the legs. It can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid.

The cause is not known. Most often, it occurs by itself. But the condition may be passed down through families in some cases. Risk factors include a family history of the disorder and being male. Clubfoot can also occur as part of an underlying genetic syndrome, such as trisomy 18.

A related problem, called positional clubfoot, is not true clubfoot. It results from a normal foot positioned abnormally while the baby is in the womb. This problem is easily corrected after birth.

What are the symptoms of Clubfoot?

The physical appearance of the foot may vary. One or both feet may be affected.

The foot turns inward and downward at birth and is difficult to place in the correct position. The calf muscle and foot may be slightly smaller than normal.

Not sure about your diagnosis?
Check Your Symptoms
What are the current treatments for Clubfoot?

Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. This is often done by an orthopedic specialist. Treatment should be started as early as possible, ideally, shortly after birth, when it is easiest to reshape the foot.

Gentle stretching and recasting will be done every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast will stay in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, the child will wear a special brace nearly full time for 3 months. Then, the child will wear the brace at night and during naps for up to 3 years.

Often, the problem is a tightened Achilles tendon, and a simple procedure is needed to release it.

Some severe cases of clubfoot will need surgery if other treatments do not work, or if the problem returns. The child should be monitored by a health care provider until the foot is fully grown.

Who are the top Clubfoot Local Doctors?
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Clubfoot?

The outcome is usually good with treatment.

What are the possible complications of Clubfoot?

Some defects may not be completely fixed. However, treatment can improve the appearance and function of the foot. Treatment may be less successful if the clubfoot is linked to other birth disorders.

When should I contact a medical professional for Clubfoot?

If your child is being treated for clubfoot, contact your provider if:

  • The toes swell, bleed, or change color under the cast
  • The cast appears to be causing significant pain
  • The toes disappear into the cast
  • The cast slides off
  • The foot begins to turn in again after treatment
Clubfoot deformity
Clubfoot repair - series
What are the latest Clubfoot Clinical Trials?
Congenital Talipes Equinovarus Prenatal Diagnosis and Closed Loop Management System Single Center Observational Prospective Study Clinical Study Protocol

Summary: The study intends to establish a closed-loop management from prenatal to postnatal through prospective cohort, and comprehensively utilize ultrasound and MRI technology to establish a prenatal diagnosis and evaluation system for congenital talipes equinovarus. On the basis of existing genetic testing, further use of whole-exome sequencing and other genomic methods to explore possible pathogenic ge...

Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
Development and Evaluation of Novel Dynamic Bar for Foot Abduction Brace for Clubfoot Treatment

Summary: This is an assessor-blinded randomized feasibility trial evaluating a new dynamic bar for foot abduction bracing for clubfoot treatment. Eligible patients must have a well-corrected idiopathic clubfoot (Pirani Score ≤ 0.5) and be in the minimum 12 hours per day bracing stage of the Ponseti clubfoot treatment protocol. The overall study period will be 90 days in length. For the first 30 days, the e...

What are the Latest Advances for Clubfoot?
Comparison Of Accelerated Vs Standard Ponseti Technique Among Children's Having Congenital Talipes Equinovarus.
Promising results in a 3-year follow-up for adults undergoing a one-stage surgery for residual talipes equinovarus as part of a humanitarian mission in Vietnam.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Open Reduction at 15 Months of Left Hip Dislocation in a Male Infant Diagnosed with Arthrogryposis.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: December 12, 2021
Published By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Martin S. Clubfoot (talipes quinovarus). In: Copel JA, D'Alton ME, Feltovich H, et al. Obstetric Imaging: Fetal Diagnosis and Care. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 64.

Warner WC, Beaty JH. Paralytic disorders. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 34.

Winell JJ, Davidson RS. The foot and toes. In: Kliegman RM, St Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 694.