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Glossary of Terms for Talipes / Clubfoot

What does it all mean?

When your child is being treated for talipes/clubfoot you may hear or read lots of medical words that you don’t understand, or are unsure about. Some of the common ones are explained below. If you don’t understand the words a health professional is using don’t feel embarrassed to ask them to explain them.

Abduction – Moving away from the midline of the body

Achilles Tendon – A large tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone

Adduction – Moving towards the midline of the body

Anterior – At or towards the front

Bilateral – Affecting both sides

Calcaneum (os Calcis) /Calcaneus – Heel bone/describes the position of the hind foot when in an upwards position

Dorsal surface (dorsum) – Top of foot

Dorsiflexion – Bending the ankle so the foot points up

Epiphysis – The growing section of bone

Eversion – Turning the sole of the foot outward

Fibula – Bone on the outer side of the leg below the knee

Gait – Style of walking

Idiopathic – Cause unkown

Inversion – Turning the sole of the foot inward

Lateral  – The outer edge

Ligament – Tough band of connective tissue that links to bones together at a joint

Metatarsal bones – The five bones of the foot between the tarsal bones and the toes

Metatarsus varus or Metararsus adductus – Inward turning of the metatarsal which gives a pigeon toed appearance

Orthosis – Splint or support

Plantar – Relating to the sole of the foot

Plantar flexion – Bending the ankle so the foot points down

Plantigrade – Walking normally on the whole sole of the foot

Planter surface – Sole of the foot

Prognosis – A prediction of a future outcome

Pronation – Foot rolling inwards

Tarsal bone – Bones in the foot between the ankle joint and the metatarsal bones

Tendon – A tough fibrous tissue that connects muscle to the bone

Tenotomy – The surgical cutting of a tendon

Tibia – Shin bone (next to fibula)

Unilateral – affecting one side

Valgus – Directed away from the midline of the body

Varus – Directed towards the midline of the body