Congenital talipes calcaneovalgus

Information for patients

Therapy services

What is congenital talipes?

Congenital means present at birth.

Talipes refers to the foot and ankle.

This is the condition sometimes called clubfoot.

What is calcaneovalgus?

Calcaneovalgus is a where a baby’s foot turns upwards and outwards. 'Calcaneo' describes an upward-position of the foot, and 'valgus' describes an outward position. 

What causes calcaneovalgus?

Calcaneovalgus is a common condition caused by some tightness in the muscles around the ankle and the position the baby was in whilst in the womb. It is not caused by problems with the bones in their foot and will not cause any problems with walking.

How is calcaneovalgus diagnosed?

Calcaneovalgus is usually found by the doctor or midwife during routine checks of your baby after delivery. The senior Orthopaedic Physiotherapist can check your baby and give help and advice.

How is calcaneovalgus treated?

Calcaneovalgus feet will almost always improve spontaneously with time. Gentle stretching may help improvement. Most feet will look normal within one to two months.

Exercises to help improvement consist of:

Gentle stretches

  • With one hand support the calf with the knee bent and with the other hand hold the foot to be exercised.
  • The foot can be held with a finger on top and thumb underneath.
  • Gently bring the foot round so it is in line with the leg then gently point the foot downwards.
  • Hold as long as baby lets you or maximum of 30 seconds.
  • Attempt these at every nappy change. 

Massage the foot and ankle with olive oil, baby oil or baby lotion, especially around the skin creases.

Make sure your baby's clothes are not too tight around the feet.

Follow up

Your baby does not need a follow-up appointment, however if their calcaneovalgus has not improved within 2-3 months please see your GP as they may need further treatment.

How to contact us

Senior Orthopaedic Physiotherapist

01709 428170

Orthopaedic secretaries

01709 424554

Did this information help you?

  • Page last reviewed: 21 January 2023
  • Next review due: 21 January 2024