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What is Club foot

What is "club foot"?

Club foot is technically known as congenital talipes equinovarus (talipes is from Latin talus=ankle + pes=foot; equino-=of or resembling a horse and --varus=turned inward).

Club foot is a developmental deformity of the foot in which one or both feet are excessively plantar flexed, with the forefoot swung medially and the sole facing inward.



The main anatomic abnormality is in the TALUS but screwing up (over-flexing) a bone in the middle of the action messes up everything else: the talo-calcaneo-navicular joints; the soft tissues on the medial side of the foot; and the gastrocsoleus/Achilles; etc

The forefoot is "normal" but because the hindfoot is bad, the forefoot does not strike the ground normally. Patients with (untreated) club foot often appear to walk on their ankles, or on the sides of their feet. Most cases are idiopathic, but some are associated with chromosomal anomalies.




Dr Ignacio Ponsetti, from Iowa via Spain, 1915-2009 (roughly) and shown below, devised a method that WORKS for manipulating the foot back to normal with serial casts.




One of the few areas where low tech beats high tech so decidedly that even in America we do it this way. 

Below are before and after Ponsetti treatment pictures from the AAOS website


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