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What Is Clubfoot?


Blog Category:
1/25/2013
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Clubfoot is one of the most common major birth defects among infants globally that is non-life threatening. Approximately one in every one thousand newborns has clubfoot and out of those, one in three have both feet clubbed.

Clubfoot twists the heel and toes inward and it often appears that the top of the foot is on the bottom. Also, with clubfoot the clubfoot, calf, and leg are shorter and smaller than is normal.

It is not know exactly what causes clubfoot, but two out of three clubfoot babies are boys and the birth defect is twice as likely to occur if one or both parents and/or a sibling has had it.

If clubfoot is detected at birth it is correctable and is not painful. In treating clubfoot, the goal is to make the foot stable, functional and painless before the child is ready to walk.

Clubfoot can be treated with casting. With casting, the doctor stretches the child’s clubfoot toward the correct position. Then, a cast is put on the foot. The next week, the cast is removed and the clubfoot is moved a little bit closer to the correct position and a cast is put on again. This usually repeats for six to twelve weeks, but sometimes it can take up to four months. X-rays are utilized throughout the process to assess the foot’s progress and make sure the foot is in the proper alignment, or at least going toward the proper alignment.

Casting is successful in straightening the clubfoot about half the time. Once the proper foot alignment is reached, the child may be fitted with special shoes or braces to keep it in place.

In cases where stretching, casting, and bracing are not successful in treating clubfoot, surgery may be required.

If you notice a problem with your child's feet, you should have them examined by a podiatrist. Conditions caught early are typically much easier to treat. You can look at list of other common foot deformities here.

If your child is having foot problems or foot or ankle pain and you would like to set up an appointment with our office, you can contact us at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906. You can also request an appointment online.



Category: Deformities


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