Clubfoot, also known as congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), is a relatively common condition present at birth (congenital), where the infant has either one or both feet turned inward. A doctor typically recognizes and diagnoses the condition at birth by sight. However, it can sometimes be detected before birth during an ultrasound exam.
The condition is not known to cause any pain to the baby. Pain begins to develop once the child starts standing and walking. Therefore, it is helpful to start treatment for the condition as early as possible. The Ponseti method is the most common form of treatment for clubfoot. The method is done by gradually stretching the foot and placing it in a short-term cast. Later, the foot is repositioned and placed in a new cast. The Ponseti method generally takes six to eight weeks to be effective. Since the twisting of the foot can return after treatment, following up with foot braces is often recommended. Minor surgical treatment options are also available.
For most cases of clubfoot, there is no obvious cause. However, males are twice as likely to develop the condition than females. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of the baby developing clubfoot. Although there is no cure at this time, there are numerous treatment methods available. If your child has been diagnosed with clubfoot, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.