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What is Clubfoot? PDF Print E-mail

  • "Clubfoot" is a descriptive term for a congenital deformity of the foot which results in significant disability if left untreated. The medical term for clubfoot is Talipes Equino Varus.
  • The incidence of clubfoot in most developed countries is approximately 1 per 1000 births.
  • The incidence of clubfoot in Vietnam is not accurately known. What is known however, is that a large number of children and adults remain untreated.
  • Possible causes of clubfoot may include: abnormal foetal development, genetic predisposition, and chemicals in the environment that may cause foetal abnormalities.
  • In developed countries all children are cheked at birth for clubfoot. If present, treatment is begun immediately to avoid the disability otherwise associated with clubfoot. Unfortunately this does not happen in many third world countries.

"Worldwide, neglected clubfoot is considered to be the most serious cause of physical disability from musculoskeletal birth defects."

"...condemned to the down­ward spiral of deformity, disability, dependency, demoralization, depression, and despair. Digging, plowing, harvesting, and carrying firewood and water are unmanageable tasks."

"Fewer than 2% of children with disabilities attend school in developing countries. The more difficulty the children experience in locomotion (walking), the less likely they are to attend school."

"...results in disability for the individual, a reduced standard of living for the entire family, and a burden to the community."

Ponseti I etal. 2003
Clubfoot Ponseti Management
Public Health Approach to Clubfoot
Global HELP Publications

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