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Health Information For Parents
Clubfoot is a common type of birth defect that affects muscles and bones in the feet. Instead of being straight, a clubfoot points down and turns in. This twisting causes the toes to point toward the opposite leg. A baby can be born with the defect in one or both feet.
A clubfoot isn’t painful and won’t cause health problems until a child begins to stand and walk. But clubfoot that isn’t treated can lead to serious problems — and even make a child unable to walk. So it’s very important to begin to correct it quickly, ideally a week or two after birth.
Doctors often don’t know what causes a baby’s clubfoot. It’s more common in boys, and can run in families. A baby with clubfoot usually has no other medical problems.
Clubfoot usually is found on an ultrasound around the 20th week of pregnancy. If not, it’s diagnosed when a baby is born.
Clubfoot won’t get better on its own. It used to be fixed with surgery. But now, doctors use a series of casts, gentle movements and stretches of the foot, and a brace to slowly move the foot into the right position— this is called the Ponseti method.
A baby with clubfoot will be treated by an orthopedic surgeon (a doctor who focuses on conditions of the bones, muscles, and joints) who has been trained in the Ponseti method. If your baby has a clubfoot, make sure that your orthopedic surgeon has had this training.
The Ponseti method is done in two phases: the casting phase and the bracing phase.
A child will wear the brace all the time for about 3 months, and then only at night or during naps for a few years. Most kids adapt well to wearing the brace, though it can take them a day or two to get used to it.
Permanently fixing a clubfoot can take several years. But a clubfoot that isn’t corrected can cause physical and emotional problems.
By following the orthopedic surgeon’s treatment plan, you can help make sure that your child will be able to walk, run, and play without pain. Consider yourself a partner in your child’s care.
And remember — the orthopedic team has heard it all. If you have questions or concerns, they can offer you helpful advice or talk about the many Ponseti method successes they’ve seen.
The Ponseti method to treat clubfoot is done in two phases â the casting phase gradually moves the foot to the correct position, and the bracing phase makes sure it stays there. Learn about casting.
The Ponseti method to treat clubfoot is done in two phases â the casting phase gradually moves the foot to the correct position, and the bracing phase makes sure it stays there. Learn about bracing.
Correcting your childâs clubfoot begins with a series of casts and ends with a brace. Here’s how to help your child wear it successfully.
Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn’t stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
Flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees. Lots of kids have these common orthopedic conditions, but are they medical problems that can and should be corrected?
Some birth defects are minor and cause no problems; others cause major disabilities. Learn about the different types of birth defects, and how to help prevent them.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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