Project Description

Positional Talipes


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Positional Talipes


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Positional Talipes in Newborns: A Guide for Parents

Positional talipes (club foot) is a condition seen in newborn babies, characterised by one or both feet turning inwards and downwards.
This common yet often concerning issue for parents, is largely attributed to the baby’s positioning in the womb, where space becomes limited, leading to the foetus’s feet/food being squashed into an abnormal position.
As we explore the aspects of positional talipes, including its symptoms, underlying causes, treatment, and the criticality of prompt recognition, our goal is to empower parents with knowledge and guidance to feel more confident to recognise and treat this condition.


“Parents might notice that their child’s foot or feet are turned inwards or inwards and downwards, and they may not be moving their foot into their kind of neutral position as much. So it affects infants from birth. Normally it will resolve itself in a couple of months. Occasionally, they’re not picked up at birth, and so then that’s when parents may notice it or maybe notice a bit down the line.”
Laura Thompson – Specialised Paediatric Physio – Complete Physio

Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson
Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist

QUALIFICATIONS: BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, CSP HCPC & APCP registered

Laura is a specialist paediatric physiotherapist with a specialist interest is in early years (0-4yrs).

Laura has over 8 years’ experience working as a specialist paediatric physiotherapist and has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience in treating children of all ages across acute and community settings. Her experience expands across many areas, including acute neurorehabilitation, respiratory, neurodisability, special schools, orthopaedics and developmental delay. She also has experience with neuromuscular conditions, previously working as the specialist neuromuscular physiotherapist for Southeast Wales.


What is Positional Talipes?

Positional talipes is a condition observed from birth, where the infant’s foot or feet exhibit an inward and downward orientation.
The condition usually arises due to being too cramped within the uterus, causing the feet to be pressed into an unnatural position.
Although it may appear concerning, positional talipes is distinct from more severe foot abnormalities, such as structural talipes, and in a lot of cases, it corrects itself within the initial months of life.

What are the Symptoms of Positional Talipes?

The primary indication of positional talipes is the visible inward and downward turn of the baby’s foot or feet; however, the foot is not ‘stuck’ in this position and will have a full range of movement when passively moved by a parent or healthcare professional.

Parents may also observe a noticeable difference in the way their baby holds their foot. The may have reduced mobility or a reluctance to move the affected foot, with one foot being less active than the other.

The condition is not caused by developmental issues and will not affect a child learning to walk normally.
It is a condition that it is normal and quite common in newborns and does not require long term, or invasive treatment.

How is Positional Talipes Diagnosed?

The condition is fairly easy to spot when a baby is born and may even have been picked up during routine antenatal scans. A gentle examination of the foot by an orthopaedic doctor or physiotherapist soon after birth will confirm a diagnosis.

How Do We Treat Positional Talipes?

Treatment for positional Talipes usually starts within 1 to 2 weeks of your baby being born.

The main treatment, involves gently manipulating, massaging and stretching your baby’s foot into a better position.

  • Gentle Stretches: Implementing a regimen of gentle stretches designed to gradually realign the foot’s position.
  • Positioning Advice: Providing parents with recommendations on how to position their child to promote a natural alignment of the feet
  • Continuous Monitoring: Scheduling follow-up appointments is essential for tracking progress and making necessary adjustments to the treatment approach.

Prognosis and Future Outlook

The prognosis for babies with positional talipes is overwhelmingly positive, with many cases resolving naturally over a few months.

Most children should be able to take part in regular daily activities. They will learn to walk at the usual age, enjoy physical activities and be able to wear regular footwear after treatment.

The key to this favourable outcome is the early detection and initiation of treatment, underscoring the importance of vigilant observation by parents and regular check-ups with healthcare providers.


While the initial discovery of positional talipes in a newborn can be a source of concern for parents, understanding that this condition is often temporary and very treatable with simple, non-invasive physiotherapy, offers reassurance.
Armed with this knowledge, and seeking early professional guidance, parents can navigate the challenges of positional talipes with confidence, and contribute to effective management and treatment of their little ones condition, ensuring their child embarks on a normal path to healthy development.

FAQs about Positional Talipes in Newborns

  1.  What is positional talipes?

Positional talipes, commonly known as clubfoot, is a condition observed in newborn babies where one or both feet turn inward and downward. It is often attributed to the baby’s positioning in the womb, leading to the feet being pressed into an abnormal position.

  1. What are the symptoms of positional talipes?

The primary symptom is the inward and downward orientation of the baby’s foot or feet. Parents may also notice reduced mobility or reluctance to move the affected foot, but the condition does not affect a child’s ability to learn to walk normally.

  1. How is positional talipes diagnosed?

Positional talipes can usually be identified shortly after birth through a gentle examination by an orthopaedic doctor or physiotherapist. It may also have been picked up during routine antenatal scans.

  1. What is the treatment for positional talipes?

Treatment typically involves gentle manipulation, massage, and stretching of the baby’s foot into a better position. Parents are also provided with positioning advice to promote natural alignment, and continuous monitoring is necessary to track progress.

  1. What is the prognosis for babies with positional talipes?

The prognosis is generally positive, with many cases resolving naturally over a few months. Most children can participate in regular activities, learn to walk at the usual age, and wear regular footwear after treatment.

  1.  Why is early detection and treatment important for positional talipes?

Early detection and initiation of treatment are crucial for effective management of positional talipes. Prompt intervention helps ensure a favourable outcome and minimises the impact on the child’s development, highlighting the importance of vigilant observation and regular check-ups.

Infant Physiotherapy at Complete Physio

At Complete Physio, we offer specialised infant physiotherapy in London, focusing on early intervention for issues like a 6-month-old not rolling over. Our dedicated team provides personalised paediatric physiotherapy to support your baby’s motor development, address developmental delays, and enhance overall physical growth. Through evidence-based techniques and a family-centred approach, we create effective care plans tailored to each child’s unique needs.

How to book

To make an appointment please call 020 7482 3875 or if you would like to discuss an injury before booking email


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