Conditions

Club Foot

Club foot is a deformed foot and ankle bone. The foot is turned in and around, so that the soles are facing each other, and the heel is held high by very tight tendons.

Club foot, which is also known as talipes, is one of the most common foot problems to affect babies, affecting around 1 in 1000 in the UK. Although it can be detected in an unborn baby by ultrasound, it cannot be treated before birth. If club foot is detected in the womb, more tests may be required to see if your baby has any other problems, such as restricted growth.

The modern day treatment for club foot is relatively simple and pain free. The Ponseti method corrects the foot without surgical intervention. The treatment begins when the child is two weeks old, the foot is manipulated gradually, stretching the tendon to its comfortable maximum and then setting it in a cast. This is done about 6 times until the foot is in a normal position, then the Achilles heel tendon can be cut to release the heel from its high position. It then goes into a final cast for three weeks. After this point the child wears boots and bar (brace) for 23 hours a day for 3 months, to keep the bones in their new position, and they continue to wear the boots at night-time and naps until they are five years old. The boots tend not to hinder the child’s development, and it is very important to be committed to the treatment else the method will have to be repeated.

For more information, see: clubfeet.net
and Clubfoot.co.uk

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My son was born with billateral talipes, he is now 11 and has had corrective surgery, a tendonoctomy and all the casting/splints. He has a lot of problems pain wise due to surgical complications, very minimal planter flexion, and very little calf muscle. He suffers from back pain due to his gait and has now been prescribed afo splints indefinetly, to protect his back and correct his gait. Not all cases are the same, quite frankly due to people musing about club foot being a minor blip people like my son get little sympathy. A lot of people who retort at the idea their child has a disability, think at the whole picture, some cases are worse than others, my son struggles daily, wearing splints daily, with more procedures looming. There needs to be more truth about talipes and less opinions based loosely around their own child. My son suffers due to his condition, and quite frankly it is unfair to speculate on what is and what is not a worthy disability, as there are different severities in every condition.





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Hi Angela, so glad to read your words and hear someone talking sense. I'm 37 and have severe bilateral talipes and do get frustrated at the media and some online groups that swear that talipes is curable, sadly it's not but it is correctable and yes there is a difference. I'm a member of a fantastic Facebook group 'adults/teens with club foot'. We moan about our pains/feet and we are very welcoming. However we are frowned upon by many other groups as being negative and too upfront about our own experiences of this disability. It is a physical disability and for some yes it leads to a normal life, but for other including myself It isn't so simple & research is not going deep enough back into treatment. We have members in their teens who suffer and members in their early 20's that have opted for amputation because of the amount of surgeries that have simply failed in helping their talipes. I really wish talipes wasn't 'branded' as a quick fix !!!

I'm 14 and was born with a club foot on my right side. I'm to scared to tell my friends at school as they will just laugh and can't tell the teachers as I'm ashamed of what I have, I also have 6 scars on my foot, and a big dip on the out side of my foot which can be noticed easily, which is why I hate doing gym with no socks or shoes. I struggle to tell anyone. I tell my mum my problems that I have in school, but nobody seems to understand apart from the people who have it. My right foot is smaller and it really irritates me, when I have new shoes and my left (size9) fits fine but my right (size5-6) doesnt, so as you can tell there's a big difference.





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Hi 'True'. I also have club foot on the right. My left foot being size 9-10 and the right being about 7. I'm now 31 and it's never stopped me doing things. I was pretty good at skateboarding and inline skating back in the day! Some days the pain is awful and I can barely walk on it, but most the time it's fine as long as I ALWAYS wear an orthotic insole from the hospital. I even wear it in my slippers around the house because if I don't the next day I will be in pain. I also have the 'big dip' and a scar from my big toe to the top of my sock. I also have one calf muscle much smaller than the other and in my twenties found out my leg was also about 2cm shorter than the other. Anyway, don't worry about what people think! The thing that annoys me most is how boring it is having to explain every time. Maybe tell people you were bitten by a shark on holiday (I've done that before) and see their reaction. Once you told them once they tend to forget about it and move on. Sometimes best to make a joke out of it first before they do. Maybe draw a smailey face in the dimple, then when you have to do gym, everyone will ask and laugh once.. tell them what it is and that it doesn't hold you back, then they will say 'fair enough' and you won't have to explain again :)It's not that uncommon, so it's likely there is someone else in your school with the same probs. Good luck.. Jim

Hi - I was born with club foot on my right side. I had many operations as a child, some more successful than others. I am 37 now and don't really suffer any pain but I do find it really difficult to find shoes that fit, support me properly and look remotely stylish. Vain I know. Since being a child I have bought most of my shoes from Clarks as they do an "odd shoe scheme". For adults this means that they will sell you an odd sized pair of shoes but they charge you full price plus 50%. My smaller foot is also quite wide so the fact that they do a wider fitting ion some styles also helps. I do resent the 50% extra but it does work out cheaper than buying 2 pairs and throwing an odd pair away! For children it used to be only an extra 25% but I don't know if that is still the case. If anyone reading is female and happens to have a left foot size 3.5 and a right foot 5.5 (opposite to me!) then please let me know as we might be able to help each other out!





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Lindsay, I'm am opposite to you nearly! My left foot is nearly a 3 and right 5.5/6! My club foot is so wife I need to go up to a 4 /5 to fit. It into a shoe! I'm just wondering if your parents ever met another family when you were little and exchanged shoes when you were younger as we met another family and would be good to get in contact to see how each other are doing.

My baby girl has a right sided talipes,was detected at 20 wk scan. She was in casts from 2 weeks old, hospital every week for new cast. Got a little better but no where near good enough then she had her achilles tendon cut to help but it didn't work. She had her 2nd op to loosen tendan at 11 months old. And continued with casts for 6 weeks. Now at jus over a year old she has finally got her boots and bar still having weekly hospital trips. I am a single parent of 3 children on benifits and have never claimed any money. My little girl has been held back from crawling and walkin due 2 casts and now boots and bar. She struggles 2 sleep with her boots and bar. Must be uncomfortable for her :(. Can we claim disability for children with clubfoot?





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I was born with a club foot over 54 yearss ago. Medicine has come a long way since then. It has never stopped me doing anything in my life. Here is a lst of some of my achievments or not (just got on with life) Ran for school athletics team,played other sports at school Went on to be a nurse and am still nursing after over 30 years. That is demanding on your feet. Walked in numerous countries (long walks). The only down side is that I am limited to what shoes I can purchase. I take a 3.5 in one foot and a 5 in the other. Treat your daugher as normal as possible and she will do you proud.Both my dad and brothre have club feet, has it boht Hope this helps and she is not a cribble, she was an unlucky child

Hi, i am 18 years old and have a club foot, my right foot is fine but my left, although i have had several operations to correct it, is still smaller (i know that can't be fixed) and im not sure where to get shoes, i need shoes that could give me support but, when i have asked around shop assistants either turn me away or don't believe. In the past i have swapped shoe sizes so id have a size 5 for my right and a size 3 for the left, but stopped doing this now after i got caught once and banned from a certain chain of shops even though i explained what was going on they thought i was lying... anyway is there anywhere that allows people with a club foot to get 2 different size shoes????





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Hello, I'm 41 now and I just buy two pair of shoes throw a pair away, a waist I know. My mum started an organisation called sole mates in the uk with a lady called ann cross. My mum is no longer involved but sole mate is still going and they offer a pairing service. If you search sole mates on line I'm sure you will find them and they may be able to help, ann cross still runs it today.

Our boy was born with unilateral clubfoot and after the casting he foot is still very small but is in the correct position. We've just started with the boots and bar but are finding it very difficult as we can never be sure his heel is in the correct place and his foot has been slipping out of the shoe altogether. Has anyone else had the same problem?





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Yes I have both my sons have club feet my youngest having bilateral club feet my 9 year old son.is still having treatment and is due another foot release my one.year old is having the.ponseti method but his feet do slip out of position in his boot. The best way to stop the feet slipping is when.u put the.boots on lift the.foot up and put heel.in.first an then.oust it back then.strap the one strap first to hold the foot then.do all the straps to the tight. Position that u can.with out causing discomfort it can.be done . Find it easiest after they have had a bath when.the.foot is relaxed an.more flexible

Hello, I had the same problem and couldn't tell if my sons feet were in the boots correctly and they would slip out. We cut a small semi circle at the back of the boot so I could see that the sole of the feet were on bottom of the shoes.

Our son is nearly 2 years old now and has unilateral talipes. Yes he needs extra care but I'd hardly say he's disabled, which is what the dla is implying. When not in his bnb he can walk fine. I'm not surprised claims are being rejected...





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I was born with a club foot over 54 yearss ago. Medicine has come a long way since then. It has never stopped me doing anything in my life. Here is a lst of some of my achievments or not (just got on with life) Ran for school athletics team,played other sports at school Went on to be a nurse and am still nursing after over 30 years. That is demanding on your feet. Walked in numerous countries (long walks). The only down side is that I am limited to what shoes I can purchase. I take a 3.5 in one foot and a 5 in the other. Treat your daugher as normal as possible and she will do you proud.Both my dad and brothre have club feet, has it boht Hope this helps and she is not a cribble, she was an unlucky child

Hi, I get my shoes from Clarks ,for my daughters, she has two size different. They do a odd shoe scheme. Just enquire in store. Hope that's some help. Tanya Barber





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My daughter has club foot on one foot one foot is a size 5 & the other is 6 and the DLA are not interested in helping with me having to buy different size shoes , would Like to know if I could get help as it is a medical problem .





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Hi there I am 29 and have had club foot since birth, I know there is not any help out there for shoes, I have the same problem, I tend to buy the shoes at the same size and put an insole in the shoe, that tends to help

A friend of mine whose son has a unilateral club foot wants to know the advantages of wearing those shoes for 23hrs for 3months after d surgery cos it keeps d baby so so uncomfortable . She wants to know if it can be worn for longer months(like say 5months) for shorter time ( like say 12 hrs) for purpose of achieving 100% compliance





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Its done like that for a reason plus its the parents who suffer more than the kids. The baby might be uncomfortable until he/she has learned to use their legs together and will become a norm to everyday life. We are in just night boots at the moment and has had ups and most certainly downs but if she has a very good Orthopaedic Consultant that can reassure her of the correct Ponsetti Treatment it will be part of her everyday routine.


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