Club Foot

What is it: Clubfoot is a word used to describe a foot defect present at birth. The defect can be mild or severe, and it can involve one foot or both. The medical term for clubfoot is talipes equinovarus. There also are other milder foot defects that are not as severe as clubfoot.

Important Facts: The appearance is unmistakable: the foot is turned to the side and it may even appear that the top of the foot is where the bottom should be.

The involved foot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than the normal side.

It is not a painful condition. But if it is not treated, clubfoot will lead to significant discomfort and disability by the teenage years.

Statistics: Clubfoot is one of the most common birth defects. More than 4,000 babies (about 1 in 1,000) are born with clubfoot in the United States each year (1, 2). Boys are affected twice as often as girls (1, 2). Mild foot defects are even more common than clubfoot.

Treatment Duration: Babies are generally treated with non-surgical approaches. Most involve some form of manipulation, casts, taping and splinting. These approaches have greatly reduced the need for major surgical repairs, which were often associated with long-term complications, such as foot and ankle pain and stiffness (2). A baby with clubfoot should be treated by an orthopedic surgeon who is experienced in dealing with clubfoot and can discuss the various treatment options with parents.

Do’s/Don’ts: There is no way to prevent clubfoot at this time. However, pregnant women should not smoke, especially if they have a family history of clubfoot. (Smoking also increases the risk of having a low-birth weight or premature baby, as well as other pregnancy complications.)

Common Myths: Having Club Feet does not stop you from doing anything, I have found several celebrities / Famous People who were born with Club Feet or Club Foot, and have become very successful. Troy Aikman was born with what doctors call “Third Club Foot”, Troy was in plaster till he was 8 months old, then we wore special shoes till he was 3 years old, since he has not suffered from any form of Club Foot. Kristi Yamaguchi is a professional Figure Skater, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Club Foot was treated with Serial Manipulations / casting.