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March 19, 1982

Named—A Vignette

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1617. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360061040

Baby boy Doe, 12 hours new. Five pounds plus of pink neonatal plumpness. All survival reflexes in working order. The umbilical stump necrosing nicely under its clamp, and that awful, twisted foot hanging like a sick question mark from an otherwise normal leg.

It was such a pathetic foot. Hardly bigger than an adult thumb. Such a pitifully misshapen little foot. The physician's hand could easily enclose it.

Talipes (the foot) equino (pointing down like a horse) varus (curving as a sickle). Talipes equinovarus. Such a tiny clubfoot.

Baby boy Doe, still nameless, up for adoption. Baby boy anonymous. Baby boy clubfoot—nameless—Doe.

He carefully examined the deformity. He would manipulate the foot and apply a plaster cast. He would repeat this every two weeks. Gradually, the malformation would be corrected. Because the tissues were new and flexible, they would respond to the gentle urging of his hands. But it would