A more common term used in relation to talipes is the ‘clubfoot’, it is a congenital foot and lower limb deformity that is present at birth. Babies with talipes have feet with a characteristic shape, the feet have an inward curve and point downstairs, affecting one or both feet.
Talipes is a congenital condition; meaning a baby is born this way. It is thought to be genetics which predispose the condition, but the cause is still largely unknown. Talipes can be associated with other conditions such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida.
The following list gives the characteristics of talipes:
Once diagnosed, the initial preferred treatment for talipes is a therapy called the Ponseti method, this is where the baby's lower leg is placed in a cast which is changed weekly. The foot is gently and gradually manipulated. The cast is routinely changed until the practitioner is advises the foot has taken on the desired position. Podiatry may benefit an older child with talipes following appropriate intervention with physiotherapy.
Podiatric treatment benefits for a child that has talipes include the following:
Podiatry input is usually advised in babies to proceed with the Ponseti method as soon as possible. If a child continued to have foot or lower limb related problems going into adolescence or adulthood they may benefit from a biomechanical assessment. During the assessment a detailed history will be taken, which includes a medical history and any previous treatment undergone.The biomechanical assessment includes examination of the foot and lower limb mechanics. The results of the assessment will provide the podiatrist with the information needed to put together a plan of treatment. Alternatively, if podiatric intervention is not appropriate a referral can be made to another specialist when deemed appropriate.
Podiatric involvement will aim to give a treatment programme, to further reduce symptoms contributed from the gait and biomechanical function. Podiatric intervention for talipes may involve one of, or a combination of the treatments available;
Treatments that may be recommended for a child with talipes may include:
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