Jul 12, 2017 / Clubfoot

Babies and Clubfoot

What is a clubfoot? A clubfoot is a congenital foot abnormality. It is one of the most common pediatric orthopedic conditions. The heel tilts in and down, and the forefoot is also turned in. Without treatment, a patient with a clubfoot will walk on the outside of the foot which may produce pain and/or disability. A clubfoot is usually smaller than an unaffected (normal) foot. The calf is also usually smaller on the side of the clubfoot. One or both feet may be affected.

Why does it happen? The exact cause of the clubfoot is unknown. It cannot be prevented, but it is treatable. A child with a clubfoot should still grow and develop normally and be able to walk, run and play sports.
How is it treated? Treatment may involve casting, stretching, bracing or even surgery. The goal of treatment of the clubfoot is to have a functional, pain-free foot with good mobility and strength.

Two non surgical techniques are used in newborns and young infants. The first consists of daily stretching, taping and splinting by a physical therapist and parent. The second consists of weekly cast changes by an orthopedist followed by bracing.

Every child is different. Depending on the patient, the doctor will explain each option to determine the best possible treatment plan.

For more information about clubfoot and becoming a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital, visit scottishritehospital.org/clubfoot.