Clubfoot (also called talipes equinovarus) is a general term used to describe a range of unusual positions of the foot. Each of the following characteristics may be present, and each may vary from mild to severe:
- The foot (especially the heel) is usually smaller than normal.
- The foot may point downward.
- The front of the foot may be rotated toward the other foot.
- The foot may turn in and, in extreme cases, the bottom of the foot can point up.
Treatment starts soon after birth. Your doctor may try putting a cast or splint on the foot or feet first. This means the foot (or feet) is moved into the most normal position and held in that position until the next treatment. Treatment is repeated every few weeks for several months. The foot is moved a little closer toward a normal position at each visit.
Your doctor may do surgery if the cast or splint isn’t working or if the foot is severely out of place. The most common surgeries repair ligaments and tendons, such as the heel cord (Achilles tendon). After surgery, a cast or splint holds the foot in place while it heals. Your child may have physical therapy.