Club feet (clubfoot) and club hands are congenital deformities found in newborns. Clubfoot is more common, occurring in approximately 1 in every 1,000 births. Doctors have yet to determine the exact cause of the deformities, but scientific innovation has made treatment highly effective.
Clubfoot, also called talipes, is the inward and downward turning of the foot. The abnormality involves muscle and bone abnormalities and under-developed calf muscles and lower legs.
While there is no established cause of clubfoot, family history doubles an infant's chance of being born with the condition. A child afflicted with spina bifida also commonly has clubfoot.
Radial Club Hand
Radial club hand is a related disorder occurring in the hand and wrist joint, with similar known causes and treatments.
Clubfoot treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical options. The Ponseti method involves the stretching and casting of the clubfoot and is most effective immediately after birth. Surgical treatment involves correcting the placement and alignment of the tendons, ligaments and joints. This surgery is usually performed in the first year of infancy.
Famous figures afflicted with clubfoot include Charles Woodson, Mia Hamm, Kristy Yamaguchi, Troy Aikman and Lord Byron.