Congenital Talipes Equinovarus

Bilateral Clubfoot (Born 1989)

I appreciate everyone in this group who has shared their clubbed foot journey. Hearing the stories of others has helped me a lot. Figured now would be a good time to share my own:

I was born with bilateral clubbed feet in 1989 and had corrective surgery at 18 months old. Growing up, I played competitive tennis and other hard court sports and field sports and was also captain of my competitive marching drumline. From age 22-25 Ive had increased levels of pain that would come and go in both feet, so I slowed down my level of physical activity and started to go from competitive sports to more casual sports and replaced tennis/basketball/soccer with golf/biking/swimming.

Last year at age 26 I had a left knee injury while playing casual tennis, and I was favoring my right leg for several weeks during recovery/rehab. It seems that putting all my weight on my right foot during those several weeks exacerbated the arthritis and wore down the joint/cartilage to a severe level over the last 6 months.

I’m 27 now and have severe arthritis in my right foot/ankle. I consulted with a foot surgeon who has recommended a joint fusion operation. (I also changed my diet in the last 6 months and lost 15 pounds to lighten the load on my ankles. NSAIDs help relieve pain, but I still have to avoid most activities where I put weight on my right foot).

I’m curious to see if others with clubfoot have also developed arthritis in their feet at an early age. Is joint fusion a common solution? I know there is not a permanent solution, and I have accepted that I will not be able to do certain physical activities the same way I used to. Either way I’m committed to staying in good shape and I will not let this stop me.

I am happy to share more of my experience with anyone who has clubfoot. I have learned many helpful strengthening techniques from physical therapy, yoga, and foot/ankle rehab over the years.

Posted in Clubfoot Stories
2 comments on “Bilateral Clubfoot (Born 1989)
  1. Kellory Blanchard says:

    I am 28 years old and am beginning to have arthritis pain, though I haven’t been formally diagnosed. I was a competitive cheerleader through middle school and high school and cheered in college for a year before a heel break took me out. Since then, my activity level has decreased and I work out sporadically, at best. To be fair, I also have 3 kids now. I’ve also put on about 25 lbs after having the kids.
    I recently went to an ortho after about 10 years of not seeing any professional and he gave me steroid injections. It was horrible-very painful, didn’t recover for 3 days, and it helped but only temporarily. I have been nervous to go back to a Dr because I don’t want more injections or surgery. I’m looking for alternatives. I don’t have any answers, but I do want to add to the conversation because I feel there are better options than what most orthos are giving us. I also had bilateral club foot, stayed active, and am experiencing this pain at a young age.

  2. Mj says:

    Hi! I was also born with bilateral clubbed feet and I am also 27. I have been having a lot of pain and swelling in both ankles but I don’t have arthritis. Mine just starts after standing or walking more than 30 minutes. I’ve been looking into a device called the ExoSym. I’d recommend looking at ExoSymplyamazing.com.

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