Foot conditions are common not only in athletes and adults but also in children. One of the most common conditions affecting feet of infants is talipes equinovarus, also known as clubfoot.
Clubfoot is a birth defect that can affect one or both feet. From birth the affected foot will present as turned inwards. In medical terms the ankle is in an equinas position, then subtalar joint is inverted, and the forefoot is adducted. Often the involved limb will present as shorter and with smaller calf muscles than the other.
The condition will normally not be painful but should be fixed for easier ambulation and better stability as well as prevention of pain later on in life. The cause of clubfoot is not known but males are known to be at a higher risk of having the condition.
Diagnosis will be clinical; however X-rays may be taken to confirm diagnosis and aid in treatment. As far as treatment is concerned if detected and recognized early treatment can be conservative and nonsurgical. This will most likely consist of a regiment of stretching and casting. Casts will be changed every week or every other week to continue to stretch and move the foot into the correct position.
After the stretching and casting there may also be a night brace the infant should wear to ensure correction. If conservative measures are not sufficient to correct clubfoot or if there is recurrence, surgery may be necessary to align the foot into the correct position. After surgery, a cast will be applied followed by night braces or special shoes. These measures will fix a clubfoot however the limb may still be smaller as well as the foot.
If you or someone you love has questions about clubfoot, please contact your Volusia and Flagler County podiatrist, Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates. Our dedicated team of trained professionals will treat your child or loved one with the individualized attention they deserve.