Update on Clubfoot: Etiology and Treatment

  • Matthew B. DobbsEmail author
  • Christina A. Gurnett
Symposium: Clubfoot: Etiology and Treatment


Although clubfoot is one of the most common congenital abnormalities affecting the lower limb, it remains a challenge not only to understand its genetic origins but also to provide effective long-term treatment. This review provides an update on the etiology of clubfoot as well as current treatment strategies. Understanding the exact genetic etiology of clubfoot may eventually be helpful in determining both prognosis and the selection of appropriate treatment methods in individual patients. The primary treatment goal is to provide long-term correction with a foot that is fully functional and pain-free. To achieve this, a combination of approaches that applies the strengths of several methods (Ponseti method and French method) may be needed. Avoidance of extensive soft-tissue release operations in the primary treatment should be a priority, and the use of surgery for clubfoot correction should be limited to an “a la carte” mode and only after failed conservative methods.

Level of Evidence: Level V, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Achilles Tendon Clubfoot Subtalar Joint Ponseti Method Residual Deformity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.St. Louis Shriners Hospital for ChildrenSt. Louis USA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. Louis USA

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