• 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.


    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
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Risk Factors

    Clubfoot occurs more often in men than in women. Because the cause of clubfoot is not understood, not many of the risk factors for this condition are known. However, having a family history of clubfoot may increase your chance of developing it.


    Symptoms include:
      At birth, 1 or both feet that:
      • Turn inward and downward, and will not straighten
      • Are slightly smaller than normal
    • Calf muscle slightly smaller than normal


    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
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


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


    With casting, the foot is manually moved into a better position. It is placed in a series of casts. A new cast is put on every week for 5-10 weeks to stretch the soft tissues of the foot and reshape it.
    After the initial casting procedure is completed, a brace is used at night and during naps.


    More extensive surgery may be done to correct the deformed tendons and muscles in severe cases that do not respond to casting. When necessary, surgery is most commonly done within the first year of life.


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


    American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society http://www.aofas.org

    OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org


    Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Clubfoot. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00255. Updated September 2014. Accessed March 2, 2015.

    Clubfoot. Seattle Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/bone-joint-muscle-conditions/clubfoot/. Accessed March 2, 2015.

    Clubfoot. Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopedic Surgery website. Available at: http://www.massgeneral.org/ortho/services/pediatrics/clubfoot.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2015.

    Eastwood DM, Sanghrajka AP. Guided growth: recent advances in a deep-rooted concept. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011;93(1):12-18.

    van Bosse HJ. Ponseti treatment for clubfeet: an international perspective. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011;23(1):41-45.

    Zionts LE, Dietz FR. Bracing following correction of idiopathic clubfoot using the Ponseti method. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010;18(8):486-493.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.