are “packaging defects” of the foot. Malformations are “manufacturing defects”
in which the parts are incorrectly formed. A true clubfoot is a malformation.
The bones, joints, muscles, and blood vessels of the limb are abnormal.
The medical term for this is “talipes equinovarus” -- relating the shape
of the foot to a horses hoof. Don’t ask why!
Clubfoot can be recognized
in the infant by examination. The foot is inturned, stiff and cannot be
brought to a normal position. Children with the condition should be referred
to an orthopedic surgeon for complete evaluation and treatment of the
be recognized in the infant by examination. The foot is inturned,
stiff and cannot be brought to a normal position.
The usual treatment of clubfoot is a series of corrective casts applied early in life
to stretch the foot into as corrected a position as possible. Frequently
surgery is also needed to release the stiff and misaligned joints of the
foot to make it “plantigrade” or flat to the floor. The result of such
treatment is usually good with a adequate foot for normal footwear, sports,
and cosmesis. Sometimes later in life or late childhood, there can be
pain in the foot necessitating special shoe modifications such as arch
supports, or even additional corrective surgery.
A true clubfoot is
usually stiff and will lack normal motion, be smaller than a normal foot,
and the muscularity of the calf will be noticeably smaller. Sports, exercise,
and corrective surgery can be used to strengthen and realign the foot,
but there is always a distinct difference between the normal side and
The treatment of
clubfoot is rather involved, and best managed by Orthopedic surgeons experienced
in the techniques mentioned above.