Clubfoot is caused by a deformity in the development of the muscles, tendons, and bones of the foot. It is present at birth. The cause of clubfoot is unknown. There is some belief that clubfoot can be inherited in some cases. It is not thought to be caused by position in the womb.
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Clubfoot can be corrected, but it is best to start treatment as early as possible—sometimes right after birth. Treatment options include:
With casting, the foot is manually moved into a better position. It is placed in a series of casts. A new cast is put on every week for 5-10 weeks to stretch the soft tissues of the foot and reshape it.
After the initial casting procedure is completed, a brace is used at night and during naps.
More extensive surgery may be done to correct the deformed tendons and muscles in severe cases that do not respond to casting. When necessary, surgery is most commonly done within the first year of life.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society http://www.aofas.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Clubfoot. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00255. Updated September 2014. Accessed February 11, 2016.
Clubfoot. Seattle Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/bone-joint-muscle-conditions/clubfoot/. Accessed February 11, 2016.
Clubfoot. Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopedic Surgery website. Available at: http://www.massgeneral.org/ortho/services/pediatrics/clubfoot.aspx. Accessed February 11, 2016.
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van Bosse HJ. Ponseti treatment for clubfeet: an international perspective. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011;23(1):41-45.
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