Club Foot: Symptoms and Treatment

Read on to find out about congenital talipes equinovarus, a condition commonly known as club foot in which a newborn’s foot or feet appear to be rotated at the ankle.

Also known as congenital talipes equinovarus or CTEV, this is a condition where a child presents with either one or both feet rotated internally at the ankle. 

There are two types of CTEV, namely:

Postural CTEV

A deformity of the feet that involves muscle imbalance and/or tightness in the muscles. There is usually no bone or joint involvement in this type of CTEV.

Structural CTEV 

A deformity that involves the bones and joints in the foot, where the child's foot cannot be passively put through a full range of motion.

​​Signs and Symptoms of CTEV

To know if your little one has CTEV, this is what to look out for:
Feet turning inwards
Tightness in calf muscles
Decreased range of movement in the joints of the foot for children with structural CTEV

Causes of CTEV

The cause of structural CTEV is unknown, but may be a combination of genetics and the environment. Meanwhile, postural CTEV could be a result of packing disorder, where a first-born baby weighs more than 4kg at birth with decreased fluid surrounding him or her while in the womb.

Complications of CTEV

CTEV does not typically cause any complications until your child begins to stand and walk. Some difficulties that he or she may face then include:
Limited mobility
Abnormal walking pattern 
Foot pain due to abnormal foot positions

If left untreated, the condition can cause more serious problems such as arthritis, poor self-confidence and large sores or calluses on the foot resulting from an abnormal gait.

Treatment Options for CTEV

Before treatment, the doctor will conduct orthopaedic assessments to determine the type of CTEV that your child has. 

Postural CTEV is usually self-resolving, though in some cases physiotherapy intervention for stretching and stimulation to the feet is required. For structural CTEV, serial casting and manipulation with minimal surgery may be neccessary. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your child may also need to wear special boots and a bar until the age of four to keep his or her foot in the correct position.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.

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