Clubfoot

Clubfoot is a deformity of the foot that causes the foot to turn inward and downward. The Achilles tendon becomes tight, which pulls the heel upward toward the leg and prevents the foot from being able to sit flat on the ground. A clubfoot is usually smaller than a normal-sized foot.

  • Causes

    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.

    Achilles Tendon and Related Muscles
    Achilles Tendon action
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  • Definition

    Clubfoot is a deformity of the foot that causes the foot to turn inward and downward. The Achilles tendon becomes tight, which pulls the heel upward toward the leg and prevents the foot from being able to sit flat on the ground. A clubfoot is usually smaller than a normal-sized foot.

  • Diagnosis

    Clubfoot is easily diagnosed during a physical examination, but an x-ray of the foot will also be taken. The condition can often be diagnosed before birth during an ultrasound examination.

    Prenatal Ultrasound
    Fetal Ultrasound
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  • Prevention

    There is no known way to prevent clubfoot, because the cause is unknown.

  • Risk Factors

    Because the cause of clubfoot is not understood, not many of the risk factors for this condition are known. However, some of the following factors may increase your chance of developing clubfoot:

    • Sex: male
    • Having a family history of clubfoot

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms include:

    • At birth, one or both feet that:
      • Turn inward and downward, and will not straighten
      • Are slightly smaller than normal
    • Calf muscle slightly smaller than normal

  • Treatment

    Clubfoot can be corrected, but it is best to start treatment as early as possible—sometimes right after birth. Treatment options include: