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Ponseti treatment for club foot


Our paediatric consultants can realign your child's club foot using the Ponseti approach


This treatment aims to straighten a child's club foot (talipes), a condition where the ankle and foot point towards the body and the tendons are shorter than usual.

It ranges from mild to severe and in some cases, the foot looks like it's turned upside down. It can affect both feet.

It's a congenital defect, which means that a baby is born with it. Club foot may look painful, but it doesn't cause the baby any pain. If the condition isn't treated, the baby is likely to get arthritis, and may walk with an awkward gait.

Club foot is treated soon after birth, before the child starts walking. The Ponseti technique is a common and effective treatment for club foot. The foot is realigned and encased within a special boot until the child is five.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A physiotherapist carefully stretches the baby's foot to loosen up the tendons. The foot is then placed in a plaster cast from toes to hip. After a week, the cast is removed at the hospital. The physiotherapist will move the leg into the correct position again, before a second cast is put on the leg. The baby may need to wear up to six casts before the foot is in the right position. When the foot is finally in the right position, it's put in a special boot. The child wears this until they are five-years-old and the foot has been corrected. They can wear the boot when asleep.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. You can help to keep your baby calm during each round of physio with toys and a feed.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    When your baby is wearing the plaster cast, make sure the child's toes are pink and warm — signs of a good circulation. Keep the plaster dry and ensure it doesn't get soiled from the nappy. When your child has finished wearing the casts, they will need to wear the specially made boots constantly for the first three months. After this, they'll need to wear them for 12 to 14 hours a day. During naps is the best time. If the boots aren't worn for the correct amount of time, the foot may return to its original position.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

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Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street


    W1W 5AH

    Childrens enquiries 020 3811 4906
    Maternity enquiries 020 3131 5998
    Women's health 020 3811 5137

  • Institute of Sport Exercise and Health Facility

    Institute of Sport Exercise and Health

    170 Tottenham Court Road


    W1T 7HA

    Call 020 3447 2800
    [Mon | Weds | Fri] 8am - 6pm
    [Tues | Thurs] 8am - 8pm

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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