Clubfoot describes a range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth (congenital) in which your baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position. The term “clubfoot” refers to the way the foot is positioned at a sharp angle to the ankle, like the head of a golf club. Clubfoot is a relatively common birth defect and is usually an isolated problem for an otherwise healthy newborn.
Clubfoot can be mild or severe, affecting one or both feet. Clubfoot will hinder your child’s development once it’s time for your child to walk, so treating clubfoot soon after birth is generally recommended.
Treatment is usually successful, and the appearance and function of your child’s foot should show improvement.
In most cases, clubfoot twists the top of your baby’s foot downward and inward, increasing the arch and turning the heel inward. The foot may be turned so severely that it actually looks as if it’s upside-down. Also, the calf muscles in your child’s affected leg are usually underdeveloped, and the affected foot may be up to 1 centimeter (about .4 inches) shorter than the other foot. Despite its look, however, clubfoot itself doesn’t cause any discomfort or pain.
When to see a doctor
More than likely your doctor will notice clubfoot soon after the birth of your child. Your doctor can then advise you on the most appropriate treatment.