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Club feet

Club feet may be divided into congenital or acquired types. Congenital clubfoot is generally accepted to be of unknown etiology, with many theories as to the cause. Perhaps as a result congenital clubfoot is still referred to as idiopathic clubfoot. The more severe type of clubfoot is caused by a number of disease processes , chief among  the neuromuscular diseases and spinal abnormalities that may result in club foot are poliomyelitis, meningitis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and myelomeningocele. Clubfoot is known by the medical name talipes equino varus, with this condition the child is born with the foot pointing down and twisted inwards at the ankle. This condition is usually picked up at birth, as the foot is generally physically smaller than normal and the calf muscles are also smaller than normal. The clubfoot appearance at birth does resemble the position the foot is in during early fetal development, so it is assumed that some unknown cause halts the normal change of foot position during fetal growth.
Club foot will NOT correct with growth and as such requires treatment, if the foot is flexible then it is possible that it may be corrected by casting. This will require a series of casts to be used which are replaced every few weeks hence the name serial casting. If however it is of a more rigid type then the only treatment is surgery. When examining the pediatric patient with club foot it is important that the physician complete a full body examination checking for cranial abnormalities, hand abnormalities spinal abnormalities and proximal leg abnormalities. The presence of which will determine the best course of treatment.

 

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Page last updated 14 October, 2007