Congenital clubfoot is a condition that is present at birth which involves a baby’s foot turning inward or downward. One or both feet can be affected and can either be mild or severe. It’s mostly diagnosed after you give birth and since treatment cannot start immediately, it is scheduled after 1 to 2 weeks.
Early treatment of clubfoot help your child to live and walk normally thereafter and so treatment should start as soon as possible. There are two main types of clubfoot treatment. They include;
1. The Ponseti Method (Stretching And Casting)
This method involves stretching and use of a cast. The baby’s foot is stretched to the correct position and then a cast is placed on it to keep it there. This is repeated weekly or so by removing the cast and further stretching the foot to the correct position and then re-cast it. This is done for several months until the foot is fully positioned correctly.
After your baby’s foot has been aligned properly, frequent stretching exercises, and wearing braces and special shoes after as advised by the doctor will prevent the condition from recurring.
Surgery is favorable if nonsurgical treatments don’t work or the clubfoot is severe. This is done by an orthopedic surgeon who works to lengthen the tendons and may also realign the joints and bones in the foot. After surgery, a cast may be necessary and thereafter braces and special shoe may be recommended.
Clubfoot is rarely fully correctable. However, babies who receive proper treatment at an early stage grow up to lead active, normal lives and also wear ordinary shoes. Since there are no specific causes of clubfoot, leading a healthy lifestyle when pregnant reduces the risks.