Talipes (talipes equino varus), otherwise known as 'club foot', is a deformity of the foot and ankle that is present from birth. Feet that have talipes point down and curve inwards. Talipes can affect either one foot or both.
There are two main types of talipes:
Children that have talipes are diagnosed at birth, and in these early years treatment encompasses physiotherapy and sometimes surgery. The podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry may be able to further improve upon your child's gait in their later years after intervention with physiotherapy, with the provision of custom cast orthoses and exercises.
What causes talipes?
Talipes can be either idiopathic (unknown cause), or hereditary.
A child that has talipes has muscles on the outside that are not as strong as those on the inside of the leg; as a result the tendons on the inside are tight. This muscle imbalance is what gives a talipes foot its distinctive shape and appearance.
If your child has structural talipes the cause is abnormal pressures that are placed onto the developing foetus when in the womb.
Structural talipes is more complex, and is more to do with genetic factors.
What should I do if my child has talipes?
If your child has talipes it is important that it is treated in order to prevent future problems later in life. Children with talipes are diagnosed at birth, and undergo physiotherapy, strapping, casting and in some cases surgery in order to correct the deformity.
Podiatry can help older children who have talipes with the provision of orthoses in order to further improve their gait (the way we walk). Podiatric treatment for talipes may encompass one or more of the following:
- Stretching exercises
Children with talipes often develop painful callus due to abnormal pressures caused by altered gait, as well as difficult toenails. Our podiatrists can easily and painlessly remove this callous and help cut or reduce toenails.
If you think that your child would benefit from podiatry, visit us here at Manchester Podiatry. Our friendly podiatrists will assess your child to establish if podiatry would be suitable.