Patient Education & Support

Patient education and support is a priority for us, which is why pediatric specialists and surgeons from across the Nemours Children’s Health System help create informative articles about pediatric orthopedics and share their trusted resources. We want to make sure you and your child understand what to expect every step of the way.

Learn more about pediatric orthopedics in general, specific pediatric orthopedics conditions, tests, treatments and ways to cope with your child’s injury or illness from KidsHealth.org, the world’s most-viewed children’s health website.

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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.

Reviewed by:
Date reviewed: August 11, 2016

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