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What is clubfoot?

Club foot or talipes is where a baby’s foot is an abnormal position. One or both feet may be affected.

What causes club foot?

There are two main reasons for club foot, positional and congenital.

Positional Talipes
This is the most common cause of talipes and also the most successfully treated. It is due to the position the baby has in the womb. If space is limited, or the baby assumes an awkward position there will not be space for them to change the position of their feet. If one, or two, of the baby’s feet are in a cramped position for a long time. Then when they are born they will have problems achieving a normal foot position, however it can be obtained through stretching.

Fixed Talipes
This is a less common form of talipes. It is thought to be caused by hereditary factors alongside a lack of space in the womb. Babies with Fixed talipes are unable to achieve a normal foot position despite stretching. This may be due to; tight musculature, stiff joints, or altered bones.

What should I do if I think my baby has club foot?

Many babies with talipes are picked up during routine assessments on the maternity ward or by community midwives. If you think your baby many have talipes you should arrange an appointment with our physiotherapists. Often only one session will be required to complete a full assessment and provide you with an appropriate exercises and stretches you can do with your child.

What shouldn’t I do if I think my baby has club foot?

The earlier your baby receives treatment the better the outcome will be, therefore, it is important to get treatment sooner rather than later.

Physiotherapy for club foot

Physiotherapy is recommended to start immediately upon a diagnosis of club foot as the outcome tends to be better the earlier treatment starts. For positional talipes physiotherapy will include; gentle stretches, exercise advise, handling / positioning techniques, and advice and education for the parents.

For babies with fixed talipes additional treatment may be required such as; strapping, splints, plaster casts or special boots, all of which help maintain the position of the foot. Some children with more severe talipes may require referral onto orthopaedic surgeons as surgery may be required on the tendons and muscles of the foot to correct their length and loosen them. Some children may require further surgery as they grow.

To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800, book online or alternatively request a free phone consultation.

Does club foot have any long-term effects?

With correct physiotherapy input the vast majority of babies with talipes will go on to achieve full movement and function of their feet. Less commonly some babies will need surgery to obtain normal foot function.

To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800, book online or alternatively request a free phone consultation.

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
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Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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