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Talipes Surgery

Talipes surgery is used to treat club foot in babies.

Talipes (Club foot) is a condition that affects the feet of babies, and becomes apparent at birth. Most cases occur during foetal development within the womb (congenital), with no known cause (idiopathic). Talipes involves the front half of the foot turning inwards and downwards. A baby with the condition will not experience pain, but the condition must be treated as it will not correct itself.

If Talipes remains untreated, the child will have problems with walking when they get older, as they will not be able to place their foot flat on the floor.

Soft tissue massage of the planta fascia under the footAbove: Soft tissue massage of the planta fascia under the foot

Treatment of Talipes begins in the first year of the baby’s life, the earlier the better. Methods used may be a series of special casts, or Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy interventions used may includestretching and gentle mobilisation techniques.

Should non-surgical treatment fail to be effective, or the foot is rigid, surgery can be used to correct Talipes - it tends to be carried out when the child is between 4 and 8 months old, to allow non-surgical treatment the chance to be effective.

Common types Talipes surgery are:
  • Soft tissue surgery (This releases the tight tissues, allowing the tendons to lengthen and the foot to settle in a corrected position)
  • Tendon transfers (Tendons will be repositioned so they pull the bones into the correct positions)
  • Bony resetting or fusion procedures (These will address and correct the bony alignment within the foot directly)
Physiotherapy is important following surgery.

Passive stretch of the achilles tendonAbove: Passive stretch of the achilles tendon

Symptoms afterTalipes surgery

Following surgery, your baby’s foot will be casted and they may experience some pain, however this can be controlled with medication.

Physiotherapy after Talipes surgery

It is important to keep the other joints of the leg moving following surgery. Our physiotherapists will be able to advise you which passive movements you should be carrying out daily with your baby. When the cast is removed similar treatment will be carried out as prior to surgery – a method is known as the Ponseti method and will involve a gentle stretching and strengthening program to ensure the foot stays correctly positioned. Our physiotherapists will also work with you and your child in ensuring they progress to a correct walking pattern as soon as possible.

mobilisations and stretches of the foot and ankleAbove: mobilisations and stretches of the foot and ankle


Talipes is a condition present in babies at birth. Most cases occur within the womb with no known cause. Talipes will not correct itself it is vital to have it treated if your child is to be able to walk correctly when they get older. In severe cases that have not been corrected non-surgically within the first 8 months, surgery is required. There are a variety of surgical methods used to reposition the child’s foot correctly. Following surgery will be able to offer support and advice about what you should be doing to ensure your baby’s feet heal well. Exercises similar to those tried prior to surgery will be advised as will techniques to reduce any pain and swelling remaining at the scar site. will employ techniques to encourage correct walking pattern as soon as is possible.

mobilisations and stretches of the foot and ankleAbove: mobilisations and stretches of the foot and ankle

Call now on 0330 088 7800 for more information or to book an appointment please contact us.

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