A birth defect (frequently called club foot) in which the foot is twisted out of position or shape. The majority of cases are thought to be due to pressure on the baby’s feet from the mother’s uterus in late pregnancy. A genetic factor is also occasionally present. The most widespread form of talipes is an equinovarus deformity, in which the heel turns inwards and the rest of the foot bends down and inwards. Also, the tibia (shinbone) can be twisted inwards and the lower leg muscles can be underdeveloped. Both feet can be affected. The defect is twice as common in males as in females.
Talipes equinovarus is treated by repeated manipulation of the ankle and foot, starting soon after birth. A plaster cast, strapping, or splint can be used to hold the foot in position. If these measures are unsuccessful by the time the baby is three to six months of age, surgery can be carried out.