A to Z: Clubfoot

A to Z: Clubfoot

A to Z: Clubfoot

May also be called: Talipes Equinovarus

Clubfoot is a birth defect that causes one or both of a baby's feet to turn inward and downward, giving the foot or feet a club-like appearance.

More to Know

Doctors don't always know what causes clubfoot, but it's usually recognizable when a child is born. The affected leg and foot are often smaller. The toes of the affected foot will point toward the opposite leg, and it may even appear as though the top of a foot is where the bottom should be. Attempts to move a clubfoot into the right position are usually difficult or impossible and may cause the child discomfort.

Awkward as it might look, a clubfoot doesn't cause any pain. It should still be treated, however, preferably soon after a baby is born. If a clubfoot isn't corrected, it can lead to long-term problems with physical and emotional development. Treatment usually involves a series of casts and braces to gradually move the foot into the right position. In rare cases, surgery might be required.

Keep in Mind

Treatment to correct a clubfoot may take a few years and usually involves a good deal of parental involvement. In most cases, treatment is successful and allows the child to lead a normal, active life.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationMarch of Dimes The March of Dimes seeks to prevent birth defects, infant mortality, low birthweight, and lack of prenatal care.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
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