Medical Definition of Talipes equinovarus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Talipes equinovarus: The common ("classic") form of clubfoot. Talipes is made up of the Latin talus (ankle) + pes (foot). Equino- indicates the heel is elevated (like a horse's) and -varus indicates it is turned inward. With this type of clubfoot, the foot is turned in sharply and the person seems to be walking on their ankle.

A clubfoot, also known as club foot, congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), or talipes equinovarus (TEV) is a congenital deformity (present at birth) in which the affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle - the foot points down and inwards and the soles of the feet face each other. Fifty percent of patients with club foot have bilateral club foot (both feet are affected). The tendons on the inside of the leg of people with club foot are shortened, the bones have an unusual shape and the Achilles tendon is tightened. If left untreated patients often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, approximately 1 in every 1,000 babies is born with club foot. Males are twice as likely to have the condition as females. According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, if one child is born with club foot there is a 1 in 30 chance that his/her younger sibling will also be affected.

Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017

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