Clubfoot (Talipes Equinovarus)
This birth defect results in a shortening of the tendons on the inner side and rear of the foot, which causes the foot to be permanently twisted inward and upward. In about half the cases, both feet are affected. If left untreated, the afflicted person will eventually walk on the outer side of the affected foot or feet.
Clubfoot develops in the womb. Doctors don't know exactly what causes the condition, but it may be caused by a genetic defect or a compression of the legs and feet that forces them to grow into an unnatural posture.
Clubfoot can be successfully treated with a variety of devices and procedures. Treatment begins shortly after birth. In some cases, a combination of exercises, braces, splints, a series of casts, and orthopedic shoes may provide the needed correction. In many cases, minor surgery may also be needed to release tendons of the foot or ankle to allow the foot to turn to the proper position.
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