• It is one of the most common orthopaedic birth defects where one or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards.
  • It describes range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth in which your baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position.
  • In clubfoot, tissues connecting muscles to the bone (tendons) are shorter than usual.
  • Causes: They are unknown (idiopathic), but it may be combination of genetics and environment.
  • Symptoms of Clubfoot:
    • Top of the foot is usually twisted downward and inward, increasing arch and turning heel inward.
    • The foot may be turned so severely that it actually looks as if it’s upside down.
    • The affected foot may be up to 1/2 inch (about 1cm) shorter than other foot. The calf muscles in affected leg are usually underdeveloped.
  • Threats:
    • It causes foot deformity, abnormality walking, callus, knock knees, or shortened legs.
    • It can cause permanent disability if not treated early.
    • This affects the child’s mobility and confidence.
    • It occurs in about one in 1,000 newborns.
    • In India, burden of disability affects more than 10 million people.
  • Treatment:
    • Ponseti method is initially used which involves moving foot into an improved position followed by casting, which is repeated at weekly intervals.
    • Once the inward bending is improved, the Achilles tendon is often cut and braces are worn until age of four.
    • Initially brace is worn nearly continuously and then just at night.
    • In about 20% of cases further surgery is required.

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