a baby being casted for clubfoot

Jan 31, 2020 / Clubfoot & Foot Disorders

The Basics About Clubfoot

What is a clubfoot?
A clubfoot is a congenital (present at birth) foot abnormality. It is one of the most common pediatric orthopedic conditions.
  • The heel tilts in and down, and the forefoot is turned in.
  • Without treatment, it is possible for a child with a clubfoot to walk on the outside of the foot which may produce pain and/or difficulty walking.
  • A clubfoot is usually smaller than an unaffected foot.
  • The calf is also usually smaller on the side of the clubfoot.
  • One or both feet may be affected.
Why does it happen?
  • The exact cause of the clubfoot is unknown.
  • It cannot be prevented, but it is treatable.
How is clubfoot treated?
The goal of treatment of the clubfoot is to have a functional, pain-free foot with good mobility and strength. Two nonsurgical techniques are used in newborns and young infants:
  • Stretching, Taping and Splinting Program
    • Specialized physical therapy program consisting of stretching, stimulation and taping of the foot.
  • Serial (“Ponseti”) Casting Program
    • Involves positioning of the foot followed by application of a cast.
    • The cast extends from the toes to the top of the thigh, with the knee bent.
    • The cast is changed every one to two weeks in clinic.
    • After the casting program is complete, your child will wear a special brace full time for three months, then at night until two or three years of age.
    • Wearing the brace is crucial to prevent the clubfoot from recurring.
  • Surgery – If nonsurgical treatment does not completely correct the foot position or if the foot deformity recurs, surgery may be recommended.
Learn more about the care & treatment of clubfoot. 
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