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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot is a congenital condition that causes your baby's foot to point down and be turned inward. The tendons in your baby's leg and foot are shorter and tighter than average. This causes the foot to be pulled into an incorrect position. One or both feet may be affected. Clubfoot can range from mild to severe.

What increases my baby's risk for clubfoot?

What are the signs of clubfoot?


How is clubfoot diagnosed and treated?

Your baby's healthcare provider may be able to see the clubfoot on an ultrasound before your baby is born. X-rays may be used to find specific bone problems and help plan treatment. Your baby may need any of the following, depending on how severe the clubfoot is:

What can I do to manage clubfoot?

Help your baby do stretching exercises provided by his or her provider. After casting, splinting, or surgery, your baby may also need to wear a brace for 3 to 4 years. A brace is a pair of shoes connected to a metal bar. Your baby will wear the brace for 23 hours every day for 3 months. The hour it is off is for when you bathe your baby. Your baby's provider may also recommend other activities he or she can do while the brace is off. Your baby will transition to wearing the brace when he or she sleeps at night and during naps. It can be difficult to make sure your baby wears the brace, but it is important so clubfoot does not return. The following can help make it easier to stay with the routine:

How can I prevent clubfoot in a future pregnancy?

Clubfoot often has no clear cause to prevent, but you can lower your baby's risk. Do not smoke cigarettes or take drugs while you are pregnant. To prevent other congenital conditions that may lead to clubfoot, take a prenatal vitamin. Start taking it at least 1 month before you get pregnant. Continue as directed through the first trimester. Look for prenatal vitamins that have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent certain congenital conditions.

Sources of Folic Acid

When should I call my baby's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.