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Alternative Names Return to topRepair of clubfoot; Foot tendon release; Clubfoot release; Talipes equinovarus - repair; Talectomy; Fusion surgery for the foot; Triple arthrodesis
Definition Return to top
Clubfoot repair is surgery to correct a birth defect of the foot and ankle.
See also: Clubfoot
Description Return to top
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.
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:
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
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.
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.
Risks Return to top
Risks from any anesthesia are:
Risks from any surgery are:
Possible problems from clubfoot surgery are:
Before the Procedure Return to top
Your child’s doctor may:
Always tell your child’s doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
After the Procedure Return to top
Your child will stay in the hospital for about 1 to 3 days right after their surgery. Their hospital stay may be longer if they also had surgery on their bones. Their foot will be kept in a raised position. They may be given medicines to help control their pain.
The skin around your child’s cast will be checked often to make sure it stays pink and healthy. Your child’s toes also will be checked to make sure they are pink and your child can move and feel them. These are signs of proper blood flow.
Your child will have a cast on for about 12 weeks. It will be changed at least 2 or 3 times. Before your child leaves the hospital, you will be taught how to take care of the cast.
When the last cast is taken off, your child’s doctor will refer your child for physical therapy. The therapist will teach you exercises to do with your child to strengthen their foot and make sure it stays flexible.
Your child might need to wear a brace after surgery.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
After recovering from surgery, your child’s foot should work like a normal foot. Your child should be able to have a normal, active life. But their foot may be stiffer than normal or stiffer than a foot not treated with surgery.
In most cases, the child’s foot and calf may be smaller than normal the rest of their life.
Children who have had clubfoot surgery may need another surgery later in their life.
References Return to top
Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Congenital clubfoot (talipes equinovarus) In: Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 26.Update Date: 12/7/2008 Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.