Conditions + Treatments

Clubfoot in Children

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Contact the Lower Extremity Program

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"Some kids with well-treated clubfoot are indistinguishable from kids with normal feet. Knowing the problems that would have developed without treatment, it's very satisfying to see how functional and amazing these kids can be with good treatment, bracing and follow-up care."

--Susan Mahan, MD, MPH, orthopedic surgeon, Boston Children's Hospital

If your child has been diagnosed with a clubfoot, you’ll have concerns and questions about his health, treatment, recovery and other issues. It may comfort you to know that Boston Children's Hospital is a world leader in pediatric orthopedics, and we have a wealth of experience treating children with this fairly common and highly treatable condition.

Illustration of clubfoot

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot (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.

Boston Children's approach to 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.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944