Medical Q&As

Talipes - further treatment needed?

My son was born with talipes. He had a lot of treatment on his feet and legs when he was born in 1995. He is now seven and his feet now lie flat on the ground but they are still both pointed inward and he is slightly bow-legged. Can anything be done about this at this age?

Talipes is a deformity of the foot that is commonly known by the politically incorrect name of clubfoot. It is usually congenital in origin although it sometimes occurs after birth as a result of disease or injury. It occurs in approximately 1 in 1000 births and is more common in boys. The foot is usually twisted downwards with the heel and toe turning inward, which results in only part of the foot touching the ground when the child weight bears. I note from your question that your sonís foot fully touches the ground, which means that the primary corrective surgery has been very effective. Many children exhibit some degree of in toeing even in the absence of a history of talipes. This is often due to a degree of rotation in the shaft of the femur or thighbone. In many cases this rotation corrects itself as the femur lengthens with normal growth. Also, some degree of bowleg is also relatively common. However, given your sonís history it might be best to revisit the orthopaedic surgeon who originally treated your son and request his expert opinion on the possible need for intervention. It is possible that the changes you have noted are simply normal variations and may have nothing to do with your sonís history of talipes.