Clubfoot repair is surgery to correct a birth defect of the foot and ankle.
Repair of clubfoot; Foot tendon release; Clubfoot release; Talipes equinovarus - repair; Talectomy; Fusion surgery for the foot; Triple arthrodesis
The type of surgery that is done depends on how serious the deformity is, how old your child is, and what other treatments your child has had.
Your child will have general anesthesia (asleep and not feeling pain) during the surgery.
Your child’s surgeon may make the tendons around your child’s foot longer or shorter. This will help the surgeon put the bones and joints into normal positions. Sometimes, pins are placed in the foot for a time.
- One or two small cuts are made in the skin around the ankle and foot.
- A cast is placed on the foot after surgery to keep it in position while it heals.
Older children who still have a foot deformity after surgery may need more surgery. Also, children who have not had surgery for their deformity yet may need surgery as they grow. The kind of surgery they may need are:
- Osteotomy: removal of part of the bone
- Fusion or arthrodesis: 2 or more bones are fused together. The surgeon will use bone from somewhere else in the body.
- Metal pins or plates may be used to hold the bones together for a while.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Ligaments are tissues that help hold the bones together in your body. Tendons are tissues that help attach your muscles to your bones. A clubfoot occurs when a person has tight tendons and ligaments in their foot and ankle. These tight tissues hold the bones in the wrong position.
A baby born with a clubfoot is first treated with casts.
- The foot is stretched into a more normal position. Then a lightweight cast is placed on the foot to hold it in position.
- A new cast will be placed every week so the foot can be stretched further into better position. Cast changes continue for about 2 months.
Clubfoot repair surgery is considered if the cast or other treatments do not fully correct the problem. This will often be done before your child is 1 year old or before they begin standing.
Older children or adults may need surgery if a clubfoot was never treated, or if they still have foot problems after treatment.
Review Date: 02/21/2011
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.