The condition known as clubfoot causes a newborn’s feet to point down and inward. The good news is that this condition is not painful for the baby. The bad news is that left untreated, clubfoot can lead to significant problems down the road.
As a result, even mild cases of clubfoot should be treated by a podiatrist. Without treatment, the child will quickly encounter difficulties as they get older. They will walk on the outer edge of their foot rather than placing the full sole on the ground. Doing so will lead to the development of painful calluses and will prevent the child from wearing shoes. A person who grows up with untreated clubfoot will have significant pain in their feet, and their levels of activity will be sharply curtailed.
Fortunately, we have more good news: Clubfoot responds well to treatment and can often be fully cured early in a child’s life.
First Treatment: The Ponseti Method
Dr. Ignacio Ponseti revolutionized the treatment of clubfoot in the 1940s—and his technique, known as the Ponseti Method, is now the primary approach to treating the condition.
The Ponseti Method involves careful manipulation of the foot to help it move toward a normal position over time. After each session of manipulation, the foot or feet are put in casts to maintain the correct position. This process is repeated weekly, allowing for slow but steady progress toward normal foot positioning. Often, in a matter of months, clubfoot can be completely corrected.
Second Treatment: Correction Through Surgery
In cases in which the Ponseti Method is not wholly successful, surgery to loosen the Achilles tendon may be required. A tight tendon may make it extremely difficult to hold the foot in the normal position. When the Achilles tendon is released, the foot is able to achieve the proper position.
We Can Correct Clubfoot
At InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, we have successfully treated many cases of clubfoot, and we are ready to use that experience and expertise to help your child. Every parent hopes to see their child run and jump and play—and go on to lead an active life. Untreated clubfoot makes all of those things extremely difficult. If your child shows symptoms of clubfoot, it is important to contact us so that we can get busy setting things right.