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By Crofton Podiatry
August 02, 2017
Category: Childrens Feet
Tags: surgery   clubfoot  

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot is congenital deformity that is found in about one newborn for every 1,000 live births. The infant is born with one or both feet turned inward, changing the shape and/or positioning of the foot.  This deformity can be identified during pregnancy or right after birth, since the foot is so abnormally shaped. Genetics and environmental factors seem to play a big part in whether or not a child is born with clubfoot.

How do you treat clubfoot?

The baby’s doctor will be able to begin treatment almost immediately. If left untreated, quality of life can be severely impacted, since the child’s mobility will be compromised. Treating the deformity early can make it easier to correct the problem, since babies are more flexible compared to when their bodies develop and bones begin to harden.

Typically successful methods of treatment include:

Ponseti method – This method includes one or two sessions per week of stretching the child’s foot to the correct positioning, and then casting it. Since they are still very flexible while they are babies, it is easier to get the feet to the correct position before they develop and set. This resetting and casting can happen over several months. Toward the end, your podiatrist may need to perform surgery to correct the length of the Achilles tendon.

French Functional method – This physical therapy method includes 3 sessions per week over several months. The process includes stretching, mobilization, and taping to slowly move the foot into the correct position. Exercise and massage helps to coax the foot back into the right shape and place, and then a plastic splint is placed to keep the foot in place.

Both methods are found to be successful, but only if the parents continue to stretch, exercise, and brace the foot and ankle to retain the correct position.

In the case where the above methods do not work, surgery might be necessary. The tendons may need to be adjusted to the right size and position as well. Afterward, the child will require a cast. If treatment is not started early, bones may need restructuring as well.

Was your child born with clubfoot or other congenital foot disorder? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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