Club foot or clubfoot, is a term for the medical condition congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). It is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both. It is relatively common, affecting around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK. Both feet are affected in around half of the children born with the condition. The affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle. The foot points downwards and inwards, with the soles of the feet facing backward.
Without treatment, people with club feet often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet.
The deformity occurs due to soft tissue tightness and bony malalignment of some of the bones in the feet, in particular the talus and navicular. All the bones are there, they just need to be encouraged to return to the correct position and develop normally.
While a baby is young, there is a natural flexibility that can be utilised to get things back to where they belong. In most cases the foot will respond well to conservative correction using the Ponseti method which involves manipulation, serial casting and a very small procedure to release the tight Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle.