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Home » Conditions » Clubfoot

Foot Examination - Baby


Improving Appearance, Restoring Function

Clubfoot is a congenital birth disorder that occurs in one out of every 1,000 newborns. When a baby is born with tendons and calf muscles that are shorter than normal, it causes the baby’s foot to twist out of position or shape producing clubfoot.

Ranging from mild to severe with the ability to affect one or both feet, clubfoot could potentially hinder a child’s ability to walk normally later in life, emphasizing the importance of providing treatment as quickly after birth as possible.


Causes and Risk Factors

Reduce your risk.

Clubfoot is congenital, meaning it is a condition that’s present at birth. Though there are no known ways to prevent this condition from occurring, there are key risk factors that may indicate when a baby has an increased risk of being affected by the condition:

  • Family history. If parents or siblings were born with clubfoot, there is a higher chance that the unborn baby will have the condition too.
  • Congenital conditions. Abnormalities of a baby’s skeletal structure, along with other serious birth defects, such as spina bifida, can lead to the concurring combination of clubfoot.
  • Environmental factors. If a pregnant woman has a history of clubfoot and smokes cigarettes during her pregnancy, the risk of the unborn baby developing the condition significantly increases. The use of recreational drugs or the development of certain infections during pregnancy increases the risk of developing clubfoot, too.
  • Lack of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. If a pregnant woman produces or retains too little amniotic fluid, which surrounds a baby in the womb, the risk of clubfoot escalates.


Pinpoint your pain.

Clubfoot symptoms appear in newborns at birth:

  • The top of the foot is twisted downward and inward, increasing the arch and turning the heel inward
  • The foot is turned severely to the point where it looks as if the foot is upside down
  • Calf muscles in the affected leg are noticeably underdeveloped
  • The affected foot is anywhere from 1 centimeter to roughly ½ of an inch shorter than the unaffected foot.

If treated immediately and effectively, clubfoot typically doesn’t cause any tremendously noticeable or lasting problems with regards to difficulties later in life. That being said, mobility may be slightly limited on that side, shoes sizes may vary, and the calf on the affected side may appear smaller from its initial underdevelopment. Of course, it is extremely important that clubfoot is treated properly to prevent more serious problems from occurring later in life.



Get the answers you need.

Physicians can quickly diagnose clubfoot by detecting shape or position abnormalities in newborns’ feet. After diagnosis, X-rays may be administered to determine the condition’s severity. Fetal ultrasounds allow doctors to diagnose clubfoot while a baby is still in the mother’s womb, allotting parents more time to research and absorb the knowledge that’s necessary to find qualified health experts with the most efficient treatment for their child’s condition.



Life’s too short to put up with pain.

Our podiatric specialists use a number of cutting-edge surgical and non-surgical techniques to treat patients dealing with clubfoot. A proactive approach will be taken to prevent long-term disabilities from clubfoot, while improving the appearance and function of your foot and ankle. Non-surgical methods involve manipulating the foot into the correct position. This may include repeated stretching, casting, splinting and bracing for several weeks or months. Once the foot is correctly aligned, the infant may continue to wear a brace. The foot muscles can return to its original position, so the foot will have to be monitored by a foot specialist. When a clubfoot is severe or doesn’t respond to non-operative methods, surgery may help lengthen the tendons or adjust the ligaments in the foot and ankle.

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