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Top Tips for Babies with Talipes (Club Feet)

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Talipes is also known as positional talipes equinovarus (PTEV) or can be described as clubfoot.  It is a condition that can affect one or both feet in babies causing the foot to turn inwards. In positional talipes, the foot is not fixed in this position and it can be easily be manipulated into the correct position. It is thought to develop as a result of abnormal pressures on the foot whilst it is developing in the womb.  However it is usually a short-term condition that can be corrected with stretches.

Positional talipes should not be confused with structural talipes, also called congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). This is a more complex condition associated with bony deformity in the foot and tight calf muscles. In these cases surgery and casting may be required to correct the foot position.

What can you do to help your baby?

  • Give your baby some time out of their baby-gro to allow them to kick their legs freely. Bath time is a good time for kicking.
  • Make sure your baby’s clothes are not too tight around their feet.
  • Touching and massaging your baby’s lower leg can help stimulate and strengthen the foot muscles.
  • Regular stretches as instructed by your physiotherapists.


Our specialist paediatric physios are able to instruct you in suitable stretches for your baby but you may wish to try the following exercises on your own:

Stretches 1

  1. Hold the baby’s calf in one hand, keeping the knee bent (do not hold the heel).
  2. Take hold of both sides of the foot with the other hand using thumb and finger.
  3. Firmly but gently, stretch the foot outwards towards the point where the knee and foot are in line.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Increase up to 1 minute if your baby remains relaxed.

Stretches 2

  1. Hold the baby’s calf in one hand and the foot with the other.
  2. Bring the whole foot up towards the shin in order to stretch the back of the heel.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Increase up to 1 minute if your baby remains relaxed.