Clubfoot is a general term used to describe a range of unusual positions of the foot. Most types of clubfoot are congenital, meaning that they are present at birth. Clubfoot can happen in one foot or in both feet. In almost half of affected infants, both feet are involved. This condition is called talipes equinovarus by medical professionals.
What Causes Clubfoot?
The causes of clubfoot have not been firmly established, but heredity is believed to be the most significant factor. If someone in your family has clubfoot, your baby is at risk. Happily, clubfoot can be spotted on prenatal ultrasound tests so that new parents can be prepared to initiate treatment shortly after their baby’s birth. Early intervention is key. Clubfoot is painless for babies, but can cause significant problems as a child grows. However, with early treatment, most cases of clubfoot can be entirely corrected.
What Does Clubfoot Look Like?
Any or all of these characteristics may be present, and may be mild, moderate, or severe:
- The foot may be smaller than would be expected.
- The foot may point downward.
- The front of the foot may be rotated toward the other foot.
- The foot may turn in, and in extreme cases, the bottom of the foot can point up.
How is Clubfoot Treated?
The most common approach to treating clubfoot is called the Ponseti Method. With this method, stretching is used in combination with a cast. Your podiatrist will stretch your baby’s foot toward the correct position and then place a cast on it to hold it there. Every week or so, the doctor will remove the cast, stretch the foot further toward the correct position, and re-cast it. It can take several months to maneuver the foot fully into the correct position.
In a handful of cases, even after treatment, surgery is necessary.
If you are expecting a child with clubfoot, click here or call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 today to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Craig Wexler in our comfortable and convenient Newton office. Dr. Wexler has decades of specialized training and experience working with patients of all ages. He is well-qualified to help you welcome your new addition and get your son or daughter on the road to a normal, active, healthy childhood and adult life.