Clubfoot (or talipes equinovarus) is a birth defect that causes one or both feet to turn inward and upward. The exact causes are unknown, but genetic factors may play a role. Clubfoot results from abnormal development of the muscles, tendons, and bones of the fetus. Shortened tendons and ligaments on the inside of the lower leg lead to the foot turning inward. A tight Achilles tendon contributes to the rigidity of the foot. It occurs in both feet about 50% of the time.
9.75 million people alive today were born with clubfoot. As many as 8 million never received treatment.
Like all birth defects, the actual global prevalence of clubfoot is not known due to data gap. However, it is one of the most common birth defects and occurs in at least 1 out of 700 births globally. Hence, an estimated 200,000 newborns worldwide are born with clubfoot every year.* Prevalence is higher in babies of a parent with clubfoot and it occurs more often in boys than in girls.
In countries with advanced health systems, the condition is usually diagnosed via ultrasound and treated shortly after birth using the Ponseti Method. Babies born with clubfoot in these countries typically go on to live healthy, active lives. Unfortunately, 85% of newborns with clubfoot in low- or middle-income countries have limited access to treatment and face an increased risk of lifelong pain, stigma, and exclusion.
MiracleFeet is on a mission to eliminate this leading cause of disability worldwide.
MiracleFeet, with local healthcare providers and governments, is bringing the low-cost, nonsurgical standard of care to low-income countries. Founded in 2010, MiracleFeet has supported treatment for over 75,000 children in 33 countries, through a growing network of now over 330 clinical sites in existing health facilities worldwide.
We are the largest global organization solely dedicated to ending the disability caused by this common congenital condition for every child affected by it, forever.
* Birth prevalence of clubfoot ranges from 1.11/ 1000 live births in Africa to 2.03/1000 live births in Europe (Smythe et al, 2017). Given that there is a recognized overall data gap in estimation of birth defects, we expect the global clubfoot birth prevalence to be about 1.42 per 1000 births. Hence every year, approximately 200,000 babies or 1 in 700 births are affected by clubfoot, worldwide.