T is for Talipes Equino Varus

November 5, 2012

Talipes Equino Varus is the most common form of clubfoot in which the infant is born with a plantarlflexed, inverted and adducted foot. It is also more commonly known as clubfoot.

Talipes Equino Varus
Clubfoot closeup of a newborn, also called talipes equinovarus

Clubfoot, also known as talipes equinovarus, is a congenital deformity of the foot and ankle. It is characterized by an abnormal positioning of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the foot, causing the foot to be twisted inward or downward.

The exact cause of clubfoot is not well understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It may occur due to abnormal development of the muscles, tendons, and bones in the lower leg during fetal growth. Other risk factors may include a family history of clubfoot, certain genetic conditions, and smoking during pregnancy.

Clubfoot can be diagnosed during pregnancy through ultrasound or after birth by physical examination. The affected foot may appear smaller and turned inward, with the sole of the foot facing sideways or upward. The foot may also have a high arch, and the calf muscles may be underdeveloped.

The treatment for clubfoot typically begins shortly after birth and aims to correct the position of the foot and restore its normal function. The most common treatment method is the Ponseti method, which involves a series of gentle stretching, casting, and bracing. This method gradually repositions the foot over a period of weeks or months.

In some cases, if the Ponseti method is not effective or if the condition is severe, surgery may be required to release tight tendons and ligaments or to realign bones in the foot.

With appropriate treatment, the majority of children with clubfoot can achieve a near-normal appearance and function of their foot. However, long-term follow-up and ongoing management may be necessary to monitor the foot’s growth and address any potential complications or relapses.


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