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Clubfoot Treatment

When Should Clubfoot Treatment Begin?

Most babies with clubfoot can be diagnosed before birth with a painless ultrasound. Studies show that 10% of clubfoot cases can actually be discovered in the fetus as early as 13 weeks. At 24 weeks into a pregnancy, about 80% of clubfoot cases can be found. The further along into pregnancy, the easier it is to see a clubfoot in an ultrasound. It is important to note that there is approximately a 20% false positive rate based on ultrasound diagnosis.

If a diagnosis of clubfoot is made before birth, then it’s a good idea to talk to an orthopedic surgeon on how to fix your baby’s clubfoot immediately after it is born. Once the baby is born, diagnosis of the clubfoot may also include an x-ray or a CT scan. This is done so that the doctor can see exactly how the foot’s bones, ligaments and tendons are affected. Clubfoot in newborns is fairly easy to diagnose.

Clubfoot treatment for babies, using the Ponseti Method, should begin as soon as possible after birth. This is important because the baby’s bones, ligaments and tendons are still soft and palatable. They can be gently moved around, allowing the doctor to move the clubfoot into the normal position in degrees (a little bit, a little bit more, etc).

The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to correct your baby’s clubfoot. This is not a decision that should be delayed. If you are not aware that your baby has a clubfoot in the womb, but discover it after birth, you should consult with an expert about correcting the clubfoot as soon as possible.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, more success has been achieved in correcting clubfeet with the Ponseti Method, instead of major surgery. The Ponseti Method is becoming the standard treatment in the U.S. and around the world. The Ponseti method features a treatment phase and a maintenance phase.

At the 2007 International Clubfoot Symposium attended by 200 doctors from 44 countries, papers were presented regarding an estimated 10,000 children successfully treated with the Ponseti Method around the world in the past few years.

» Clubfoot Treatment Overview
» Clubfoot Treatment Phase I
» Clubfoot Treatment Phase II

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