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Club Foot

If a baby has club foot, one or both feet point down and inwards with the soles of the foot facing backwards. It isn't painful, but if untreated can lead to difficulties when they get older. Club footy is fairly common, affecting around 1 in every 1000 babies born in the UK.

 

Club foot is usually diagnosed after a baby is born although it can also be spotted during a routine 18-21 week ultrasound scan. Some babies are born with normal feet that have been squashed into an abnormal position in the womb. They usually correct themselves by three months but come babies may need a few sessions of physiotherapy.

Prior to discharge, a pediatrician will support you in what to do to correct the talipes, which could be referral to a physiotherapist.

 

You can speed up the natural improvement in your baby’s foot/feet by doing the following stretches each time you change your baby’s nappy.

Leave your baby lying on their changing mat so they’re supported and remove their socks so their feet are bare.

  1. Hold the heel firmly between your thumb and fingers
  2. With your other hand, hold the front of the foot just underneath the toes
  3. Bring the front of the foot across so that it is straight in line with the heel
  4. Hold for 10 seconds
  5. Move the foot back to a straight position as in step 1
  6. Pull down on the heel as you lift the front of the foot up toward the shin

Encouraging active foot movements

  1. Stroke the outside of the baby’s foot from the toes to the heel
  2. You may see that this stimulates them to turn out their foot
  3. Repeat five times with each affected foot

If this doesn’t encourage foot movement, try stroking/tickling other parts of their feet.

Continue doing these exercises until there’s no longer a concern with the position of the foot.

If you’ve tried the exercises above and haven’t seen an improvement in the positioning and movement of the foot after three months, speak to your GP or Health Visitor.