Clubfoot is a common congenital deformity that causes a baby’s foot to twist out of its normal position. In some cases, the foot may twist inward and downward, and in more severe instances could appear as though it’s upside down.
Clubfoot is often classified into two categories: isolated (idiopathic) clubfoot, the most common variety that typically appears in babies with no other known medical conditions, and non-isolated clubfoot, which may occur in association with other health issues, particularly neuromuscular disorders such as arthrogryposis or spina bifida.
If one or both parents were born with Clubfoot, there’s a higher likelihood that their baby will be born with this deformity, as well. Additionally, if the child’s mother smokes while pregnant or the baby receives too little amniotic fluid in the womb, the baby is more likely to develop clubfoot. Arthrogryposis, spina bifida, and other neuromuscular disorders may contribute to the development of non-isolated clubfoot.
The treatment approach to clubfoot partially depends on the severity of the baby’s deformity, but generally, the Ponseti method is the most widely-used technique to correct the issue. This approach involves a repeated process of stretching the baby’s foot into the correct position and applying a long-leg cast to hold it in place each week for approximately six to eight weeks, followed by a minor procedure called an Achilles tenotomy and bracing for the next few years.
Alternatively, the French method may also be used in most cases of clubfoot. This approach is directed by a physical therapist over the course of a few years and involves stretching a baby’s foot into a correct position and maintaining its new range of motion with taping and a splint. It’s also followed by an Achilles tenotomy in many cases.
While most cases of clubfoot respond well to these treatments, it may recur in some children, requiring surgical intervention to adjust the tendons, ligaments, and joints in the foot.
Don’t let clubfoot negatively alter your child’s quality of life. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors now.