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What is clubfoot in babies?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

A clubfoot or congenital talipes equinovarus is a congenital anomaly involving one or both feet. The affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle resulting in it being positioned at a sharp angle to the ankle. Clubfoot is a relatively common birth anomaly and is more commonly seen in male than females. Clubfoot is usually an isolated finding in an otherwise healthy infant.

Clubfoot occurs when a baby is born with a foot that is abnormally positioned. The front of the foot is curved in, and the heel is pointed down. If it's untreated it can be very difficult to get around. The foot is twisted over, so rather than walking flat on the foot the child would have to walk on top of the foot. 

Babies are sometimes born with clubfoot. A clubfoot is a deformity that causes the foot to be turned so that:

  • The foot points downward and the toes turn inward.
  • The bottom of the foot is twisted inward.

Sometimes the clubfoot can be seen before the baby is born using ultrasound. The cause of clubfoot is not known.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.