What is Club Foot and How Can You Treat It?

Also referred to as congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), Club Foot is a congenital deformity of one or both feet. A baby is born with either one or both feet turning inward and downward and because the foot is positioned at an angle to the ankle making it look like a golf club, the condition is called ‘clubfoot’. It is a common birth defect with about one in every 1,000 babies falling victim to it and occurs in males twice as often as in females. If treated immediately, most patients recover completely during early childhood.


  • Researchers have concluded that clubfoot may be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. If there is a family history of clubfoot, it is possible that a baby will be born with it. Some studies have also linked this condition to cigarette smoking during pregnancy.


  • Calf muscles of the affected leg are usually underdeveloped
  • The foot is twisted downward and inward increasing the arch, while the heel area is small
  • The clubfoot may be up to about a ½ inch shorter than the other foot
  • In some cases, a clubfoot can be detected prior to birth during an ultrasound


  • Should begin immediately after diagnosis as babies bones are flexible
  • Serial casting: the foot is stretched towards the proper position and then cast to hold that position
  • Once the foot position is corrected, the child will need to wear a brace full-time for 3 months. After this period is over, the brace will need to be worn at night and during daytime naps for 3 years.
  • In very severe cases, surgery might be required

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” and our board certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, of Syracuse Podiatry, Fayetteville, NY, who specializes in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, believes in restoring all deformed feet to the original work of art! If your baby has been diagnosed with clubfoot and you need an experienced podiatrist, please visit our website to contact us or call us at 315-446-3668 to make an appointment. Our team at Syracuse Podiatry is committed to making patients, young or old, very comfortable and stress-free.

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