Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
Clubfoot (congenital talipes equinovarus) is a deformity that is present at birth in about one in every 1,000 children. It occurs in males more often than females, and can affect one or both feet.
The feet of an infant with clubfoot point down and inward. It is not painful, but must be corrected to avoid a lifetime of disability.
Parents can be assured that, in most cases, clubfoot can be effectively treated if it is undertaken as early as possible. Casting of the legs and feet is usually successful, but in some cases surgery may be required.