What is clubfoot?

Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV) or clubfoot is a relatively common condition affecting the lower leg.

One or two children per 1000 births are affected and half of the children born with talipes have both feet affected. It is three times more common in boys than girls. Nobody knows the cause for talipes but it may be genetically inherited or due to abnormal muscle development.

With appropriate assessment and treatment with the Ponseti method, children born with talipes should achieve pain-free, fully functional feet that allow them to run and play as normal.

How do we help children with clubfoot?

The Ponseti Club Foot Clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead specialises in treating children who have a club foot or club feet.

The Ponseti method is a complete treatment method that is 97% successful in correcting the clubfoot deformity without major surgery that was common practise. Allowing your child to have pain free feet that move normally and will not limit your child from being able to run and play now or in adult life.

This program of treatment starts with a series of plaster casts. These extend from the toes to the groin and are changed weekly. The foot position is gradually corrected with each plaster. Casting continues for 5-12 weeks and will be done by your physiotherapist or orthopaedic surgeon. This is followed by a small surgical procedure to divide the Achilles tendon or 'heel cord', which is required in the majority of cases.