Clubfoot is a birth defect that causes the feet and ankles to bend inward. This condition is caused by an abnormality in the tendon of the leg which makes it too short from the normal size.

Clubfoot or talipes equinovarus is estimated to occur in 1 in 1000 births. This condition can occur on one or both legs. Babies with clubfoot need to be treated immediately so that their growth and development process is not hindered and they do not experience permanent disabilities.

Causes of Clubfoot

Clubfoot occurs as a result of disorders in the tendons (muscle and bone connective tissue) so that the baby's foot tendons do not develop optimally. Clubfoot is divided into isolated or idiopathic clubfoot and nonisolated clubfoot . Here is the explanation:

Isolated or idiopathic clubfoot

Isolated or idiopathic clubfoot is the most common type. This type occurs in the absence of other medical disorders.

Non-isolated clubfoot

Non-isolated clubfoot is clubfoot accompanied by other medical disorders, such as arthrogryposis and spina bifida .

The exact cause of clubfoot is not known. However, this condition is believed to occur due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Clubfoot risk factors

Clubfoot is more at risk for male babies. In addition, there are factors that can increase the risk of children experiencing clubfoot , namely:

  • Have a family member who suffers from clubfoot
  • Suffering from a congenital disease, such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy
  • Having a genetic condition, such as Edward's syndrome  or Moebius syndrome

Children are also more at risk of suffering from clubfoot if the pregnant mother has the following factors:

  • Consuming alcoholic beverages, smoking , or using NAPZA drugs
  • Experiencing oligohydramnios , which is a condition when there is too little amniotic fluid
  • Suffering from Zika virus infection

Symptoms of Clubfoot

The main symptom of clubfoot is that the baby's feet and ankles are bent inwards. It can happen on one or both legs. Other common symptoms of clubfoot are:

  • The calf muscles on the leg affected by clubfoot do not develop optimally
  • Stiffness in the ankles
  • Heels are small
  • The leg rotates very badly or turns upside down
  • Limited leg movement
  • Stiffness and pain in the ankles as he gets older

When should you go to the doctor?

Clubfoot can generally be detected shortly after the baby is born. If the parents have just noticed the symptoms of clubfoot after returning from the hospital, immediately check the child to a doctor . Early examination can help the doctor carry out the correct treatment and prevent the symptoms from getting worse.

Parents are also advised to immediately seek medical help if their child is undergoing clubfoot treatment but experiences some of the following conditions:

  • Bleeding or swelling in the toes
  • The toes are not visible from the outside of the bandage or cast
  • The use of a cast or leg support causes pain
  • The foot or ankle rotates back after handling

Diagnosis of Clubfoot

Abnormalities in babies due to clubfoot can generally be detected earlier during an ultrasound examination at 12-20 weeks of pregnancy. However, the doctor needs to confirm the diagnosis with a physical examination when the baby is born. In addition, the doctor can also recommend an X- ray examination .

Clubfoot Treatment

Treatment of clubfoot can be done when the baby is 1-2 weeks old. The purpose of the handling is to improve the shape of the baby's feet before he begins to learn to walk and prevent foot defects.

Methods of handling clubfoot that can be done include:

Stretching or plaster installation

Gypsum installation is the main treatment for clubfoot . The doctor will return the baby's leg to the correct position, then install a cast on the leg. This procedure is usually done for several months or several years until the baby's feet return to normal.


Surgery is performed when plaster installation is not successful in dealing with clubfoot or when the abnormality of the foot position is very severe. The operation aims to return the tendons and ligaments to the correct position. After that, the doctor will install a cast or brace on the baby's foot to prevent clubfoot later in life.

Complications of Clubfoot

Clubfoot generally does not cause pain during the first few months of a baby's birth. However, untreated clubfoot can cause the following complications:

  • Arthritis _ _
  • Painful calluses
  • Infection in the legs
  • Difficulty walking and not being able to wear shoes
  • Limited physical activity

Prevention of Clubfoot

Clubfoot is a condition that cannot be prevented, because the cause is not known for certain. However, pregnant women can make a number of efforts to prevent babies from being born with clubfoot , namely:

  • Routinely perform pregnancy tests
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use NAPZA
  • Do not smoke or be around people who smoke
  • Do not drink certain medicines without consulting a doctor first
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