Clubfoot is an inherited deformity that affects nearly one out of every one thousand children. Its main feature is an inward rotation of the ankle that causes the bottoms of the feet to face each other, but it can also affect only one foot. Clubfoot needs to be properly identified and treated to avoid major complications as the affected individual ages.
The two types of clubfoot
Isolated clubfoot—This refers to the condition when no other health issues may be causing complications with the clubfoot.
Non-isolated clubfoot—This refers to a clubfoot that occurs in conjunction with a neuromuscular disorder or other health problems.
Treatment options for clubfoot
Clubfoot can be rather easily treated when diagnosed in the beginning stages due to the inherent flexibility of a small child’s bones and other tissues. Using the Ponseti method, your child’s foot doctor will incorporate a combination of manual manipulation, stretching exercises, and casting to gradually redirect the clubfoot into the proper position. This process occurs over a period of several months or more. After the cast comes off, your foot surgeon will usually need to relieve the pressure on the heel cord with a simple procedure involving a small incision. Braces may be required for a period of time to ensure the foot remains in the correct position.
In severe cases of clubfoot that do not respond well to the usual methods of digital manipulation, stretching, and casting, or if the clubfoot wasn’t caught early enough, a surgical procedure will be necessary. Your child’s foot surgeon will make adjustments to the bones, ligaments, tendons, and tissue to properly align them and prevent future problems.
If you suspect that your child is exhibiting signs of clubfoot, see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and care. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.