Clubfoot – Tibialis Anterior Transfer

What is a tibialis anterior transfer?

A tibialis anterior tendon transfer is a surgical procedure used to correct a relapse of a club foot which involves the child walking with a turned in foot. This is caused by a muscle imbalance of the foot, with the muscles on the inside of the foot being more powerful compared with the muscles on the outside of the foot.

What will the surgery involve?

The surgery involves moving the tendon from the inside of the foot to the outside of the foot. This allows the child to walk with a normal foot posture. 

How long will my child need to stay in hospital for?

The usual length of stay in hospital for this procedure is 1-2 nights. Your child’s foot will need to be elevated in the hospital  and at home for the first few days after you leave the hospital.

How will my child mobilise after the surgery?

After the surgery your child will have a cast applied to their lower leg/s and will not be able to put any weight through the foot for six weeks. Your surgeon  will tell you when your child can start putting weight through the foot. Your child may need to use a wheelchair and/or a walking aid such as crutches or a walking frame.

How do I look after the cast/s?

The cast/s will need to stay dry. You can choose to sponge bathe during this time or use a waterproof cast protector when showering to keep the cast/s dry.

Can my child go to kinder/school?

Yes, your child can return to kinder/school once they are comfortable. It is useful to  let your child’s teacher know about their upcoming surgery and that they will be returning with a wheelchair and/or walking aid. 

When will the casts be removed?

The cast will stay in place for six weeks. After the cast is removed you child will go back into their regular footwear.

What rehabilitation will be needed?

When the cast/s is removed, your child will work with a physiotherapist for gait retraining and to strengthen the muscles on the outside of the foot to keep the foot balanced following the tendon transfer. 

When can my child return to playing sport?

When your child’s plaster is removed they can return to activities such as swimming and bike riding. Your child will need to be able to walk and run well before returning to team sports. Your physiotherapist will be able to assist you in this process.