What is Clubfoot? Clubfoot is found in newborns with a structural deformity occurring in their foot and ankle. The foot is fixed inward due to a variety of causes, some genetic and some involve the amount of room the baby had in the womb. Surprisingly it is fairly common occurring at a rate of about one in every 1000 births.
How can it be treated? Clubfoot is most effectively treated with the Ponseti Method. This method entails a serial casting technique in a structured and ordered fashion to bring he foot out of the inward position and back to a normal functional foot. Depending on the severity it may take several casts lasting a few weeks each for four to six months. After casting the child is transitioned into a brace that will help prevent the foot from returning to the clubfoot position.
What is the outcome of clubfoot? The best part about clubfoot is that the outcomes are very promising if treated quickly. For example, Troy Aikman was born with clubfoot and managed to become a #1 NFL draft pick. Fixing clubfoot may not help your child reach the NFL, but will most likely give him a normal playful childhood.
What if Clubfoot is not fixed? Clubfoot can have serious physical implications if not fixed. The individual will end up walking on the side of their feet causing thick painful callusing. This walking position is very limited and detrimental to the individual’s physical health. If traditional casting methods do not work, or the clubfoot is not fixed, surgery may be needed to realign the bones and tendons of the foot.
Clubfoot may not be seen everyday, but it is still a disease that needs to be recognized and treated. If you or someone you know has any foot issues, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.