What is clubfoot?

Illustration of clubfootClubfoot (talipes equinovarus) is a congenital foot deformity affecting bones, muscles, tendons and blood vessels. The condition is fairly common, occurring in about one of every 1,000 newborns and affecting boys twice as often as girls. 

Clubfoot can be present in one or both feet, with a 50 percent chance of being bilateral (affecting both feet). A clubfoot is visible at birth, and is often detected by fetal ultrasound before birth.

Learn more about the symptoms and causes of clubfoot.

How we care for clubfoot

The goal of treatment for clubfoot is to correct the position of the foot, so that the bones grow normally. Boston Children's doctors take conservative, non-surgical approaches whenever possible, and we have excellent success rates. If a newborn needs surgery, we try to avoid using general anesthesia, which does pose some risk to infants.

Compared with many other institutions, we offer an especially strong and supportive bracing program. We also have an exceptional prenatal counseling program to help parents anticipate and plan for their baby’s care after birth.