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An intrauterine developmental malformation with a genetic component affecting the talus and resulting in medial and plantar deviation. Clubfoot is part of multiple syndromes.

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Talipes Equinovarus.

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Varies according to the racial group. One study reported an incidence of 1:1000 in Caucasians, 7:1000 in Polynesians, and 0.5:1000 in Japanese. Bilateral cases occur in 40%. The male-to-female ratio is approximately 2.5:1.

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It is thought to be due to the action of a major gene with additional contribution of multifactorial inheritance. Autosomal dominant inheritance has been suggested.

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In some cases, electron microscopy has shown some evidence of neurogenic muscle disease, suggesting an innervation defect.

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Deformity of the talus with medial and plantar deviation of its neck. The ankle joint mortice is normal, and foot deviation follows the talar neck deformity.

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Medial and plantar deviation of one or both feet (pes adductus, equinovarus, supinatus) can be diagnosed by ultrasound in utero. Postnatally, radiographic evaluation requires weight-bearing or simulated weight-bearing anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the foot. The talus deformity consists of hypoplasia with plantar and medial deviation of the shortened talar neck with lateral rotation in the ankle mortice. Radiographs show medial subluxation of the navicular bone, which articulates with the medial aspect of the talus neck. Medial subluxation of the cuboid bone on the calcaneus head results in medial midfoot displacement. Additional findings include shortening and contractures of ligaments and joint capsules around the ankle mortice, and contracted and hypoplastic calf muscles.

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Search for evidence of coexistent diseases, such as Myelomeningocele, Chondrodysplasia Punctata, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Neurofibromatosis Generalista, and many others.

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Anesthesia may be performed with general, regional, or combined techniques. A regional approach may be preferred in the presence of a myopathy. Combined neurologic, electromyographic, and muscle biopsy studies show myopathic changes in up to 70% of clubfoot patients. This high rate of myopathic changes suggests regional anesthesia techniques may be preferred to prevent possible problems related to malignant hyperthermia.

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Careful use of succinylcholine and nondepolarizing neuromuscular blockers in the presence of myopathy and the use of a peripheral nerve stimulator is recommended.

Chapman C, Stott NS, Port R, et al: Genetics of club foot in Maori and Pacific people. J Med Genet 37:680, 2000.  [PubMed: 10978359]
Wang J, Palmer RM, Chung CS: The role of major gene in clubfoot. Am J Hum Genet 42:772, 1988.  [PubMed: 3358425]
Zanette G, Manani G, Pittoni G, et al: Prevalence of unsuspected myopathy in infants presenting for clubfoot surgery. Paediatr Anaesth 5:165, 1995.  [PubMed: 7489436]

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