Clubfoot

Definition

Clubfoot is a deformity of the foot that causes the foot to turn inward and downward. The Achilles tendon becomes tight, which pulls the heel upward toward the leg and prevents the foot from being able to sit flat on the ground. A clubfoot is usually smaller than a normal-sized foot.

Causes

Clubfoot is caused by a deformity in the development of the muscles, tendons, and bones of the foot. It is present at birth. The cause of clubfoot is unknown. There is some belief that clubfoot can be inherited in some cases. It is not thought to be caused by position in the womb.
Achilles Tendon and Related Muscles
Achilles Tendon action
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Clubfoot occurs more often in men than in women. Because the cause of clubfoot is not understood, not many of the risk factors for this condition are known. However, having a family history of clubfoot may increase your chance of developing it.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • At birth, 1 or both feet that:
    • Turn inward and downward, and will not straighten
    • Are slightly smaller than normal
  • Calf muscle slightly smaller than normal

Diagnosis

Clubfoot is easily diagnosed during a physical examination, but an x-ray of the foot will also be taken. The condition can often be diagnosed before birth during an ultrasound examination.
Prenatal Ultrasound
Fetal Ultrasound
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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