Club Foot (Talipes Equinovarus)

What is Club Foot?

Clubfoot or talipes equinovarus is a congenital deformity (birth defect) in which the foot is out of position and doesn’t have normal flexibility.

The cause isn’t always known, although clubfoot sometimes results from the baby’s position in the womb.

Causes of Club foot

There are three main types of clubfoot: 

  1.     Congenital. The most common type. The cause is unknown, but genetic (inherited) factors may play a role. Clubfoot is the only abnormality.
  2. Positional. This type of clubfoot occurs because the foot was in an abnormal position in the womb. It is the easiest to treat. 
  3. Teratologic. Clubfoot accompanied by other birth defects. Clubfoot may be one sign of a general neuromuscular disorder (abnormalities of the nervous system)

Diagnosing a Club Foot

Clubfoot is obvious at birth. There are three components that make up the club foot position:

  1. The ankle is pointing down – equinus
  2. The rearfoot is turned in – varus
  3. The forefoot curls in – metatarsus adductus

Treatment of a Club foot

Treatment is either non- surgical or surgical.

The non-surgical option usually involves a series of casts that are continuously added and removed to slowly stretch the foot toward the correct position; after that, a brace may be used.

Surgery can be performed if needed with the aim to correct the position of the foot

For those that have had serial casting or surgery there may be some remaining changes in the shape of the foot which can be managed non surgically but will depend on the deformity present.


Deformity present Treatment
The ankle is pointing down – equinus – Heel raises
– Shoe modifications (heel raise)
– Ankle foot Orthotics (AFO)
The rearfoot is turned in – varus – Custom orthotic with a lateral rearfoot post
– Lace up ankle brace
– Shoe modifications (lateral flare)
– Lateral rearfoot posting
The forefoot is adducted – metatarsus adductus  – Custom orthotic with a latearl  rearfoot post
– Lace up ankle brace
– Shoe modifications (lateral flare)
– Lateral rearfoot posting


Call The Foot and Ankle Centre for further advice on professional management and treatment options.

Servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Coburg and Preston.