Clubfoot is a common condition affecting just under 1 in every 1000 births in Australia. While most babies are born with some degree of 'normal' clubfoot, this is usually a temporary malposition that they will grow out of spontaneously.
Babies with clubfoot have one or both feet twisted inwards ('varus') and down ('equinus'). In most babies, this is simply due to the way the feet are 'tucked up' in the womb. In babies with clubfoot, the position of the feet is due to abnormalities in the joints, bones, tendons and other tissues in the foot. Paediatricians always check babies' feet for clubbing after they are born, however it may not be possible to detect subtle clubfoot until later in life.
Clubfoot can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid. Babies may struggle with walking and, in more severe cases, crawling. They may also develop sores on their feet.
Often, clubfoot can be detected by routine ultrasound scan while you are pregnant. In these cases, you will be able to discuss the implications of this with your doctor or an orthopaedic surgeon. There is no need to treat the baby until after the birth, however from then on there are many very effective treatments available.
Other Names for ClubFoot
- Talipes Equinovarus