What is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a congenital condition that consists of an abnormal inward turning of the ankle so that the soles of one or both feet are facing inward, potentially causing future problems with ambulation if not corrected.
Clubfoot is a very common congenital deformity affecting about 1 in 1,000 newborns. Fortunately, with early and efficacious treatment, clubfoot can be completely corrected and children will suffer no ill effects and can participate in all normal activities.
Clubfoot is usually categorized as isolated—meaning there are no other mitigating conditions or health factors—and non-isolated—which means that other factors such as neuromuscular problems are also involved.
Treatments for Clubfoot
This condition is often fixable with a conservative treatment called the Ponseti method which consists of a combination of stretching, manual manipulation and casting to gradually improve the clubfoot over a period of several months. When the casting phase is done, a relatively minor surgical incision is made to cut the tightened heel cord. Braces will be needed during the end stages of the healing process and for an additional period of time that varies with each patient to ensure that the clubfoot doesn’t return.
If you notice that your baby’s feet look deformed, it is important to contact your podiatrist for a consultation. In most cases, the flexibility of a baby’s bones and other tissues make the Ponseti method very effective. However, in the event that these conservative treatments of manipulation, stretching and casting are not effective enough, a surgical procedure may be necessary to move the bones, ligaments, tendons and tissues into the correct position.
For more expert advice on clubfoot, please consult our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!