Clubfoot in newborns

For functional feet

Clubfoot represents the most frequent congenital foot malposition, occurring in 1 in every 1000 newborns. It is not painful for the infant, but requires treatment. 

Our specialists at Schoen Clinic have many years of experience in treating foot malpositions in children. They treat clubfoot using the Ponseti method, so your child can lead a sporty, active, normal life. 

Causes & symptoms

Clubfoot – baby: Causes of the malposition

The causes of congenital clubfoot are ultimately not clear. Genetic causes are discussed. If there is a family predisposition, the risk of having a child with clubfoot is increased. The likelihood of having a second child with a clubfoot is about 1:30.

The way the parents behave before or during pregnancy has nothing to do with the development of clubfoot. Pigeon toes is a congenital deformity, which is mostly position-related.

Clubfoot – baby: Symptoms of the malposition

Bilateral clubfoot accounts for around 50 percent of cases. The intensity can vary. The foot is turned inwards, there is often a deep fold on the sole of the foot. The heel is soft and high because of the shortening of the Achilles tendon. Clubfoot is accompanied by calf atrophy. This is particularly noticeable in the presence of unilateral clubfoot. 

In the case of pigeon toes, the foot points inwards in a crescent shape. The calf muscle can also be shortened in very rare cases.


Diagnosis: How we diagnose clubfoot in newborns

The diagnosis of clubfoot is often already established during prenatal ultrasound examinations. The clinical examination after the birth then confirms this finding. Clubfoot needs to be distinguished from postural clubfoot and pigeon toes by means of a clinical examination. Both are usually benign foot malpositions, which completely correct themselves during the first year of life.