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Neglected Clubfoot

Children who have not been treated for clubfoot

Clubfoot is when a baby’s ankle points downward and the toes are pulled inward. This condition can be discovered while the mother is still pregnant or immediately after birth. Ideally, clubfoot correction should begin a week or two after birth.

However, there are cases when the baby’s clubfoot is not corrected and he or she grows into childhood with this deformity. Untreated clubfoot makes walking very difficult, wearing normal shoes impossible and normal playing with other kids anything but fun. If a child’s clubfoot is not treated, he or she will have a lifelong disability.

Children with clubfoot often walk on the outsides of their feet, which can lead to calluses, infection and chronic pain.

If your child has clubfoot, it is not too late for them to be successfully treated using the Ponseti method, which is a series of small adjustments by a foot doctor, which will not hurt your child.

With the Ponseti method, the clubfoot is gently moved a little bit towards the correct position and placed in a plaster cast (toe to groin) for 5 to 7 days. The cast is removed; the clubfoot is once again moved a little closer to its correct position and placed in another cast.

This treatment of castings and manipulations is normally done for 5-8 weeks, or until the clubfoot is in the correct position.

After the last casting is removed, the Achilles tendon is usually cut and lengthened so that it can accommodate the foot in its new correct position.

Children will need to wear a special foot brace/shoe, which keeps the clubfoot in its new position to prevent relapse.

The brace is usually worn for 23 hours a day for the first 3 months and then at night for 4-5 years. The brace prevents the corrected foot from going back to the wrong position. While that may sound like a long time, it’s actually a very short period of time compared to a lifetime of struggling with a deformed clubfoot.

Bracing is a phase of treatment that is extremely important. While parents may worry about their child wearing a brace, most children learn to crawl, stand up and walk in the brace.

The Ponseti method can correct your child’s clubfoot and set him or her free from a lifetime of disability. It is not too late to have your child’s clubfoot corrected. No child need suffer with clubfoot with today’s medical advances.

If your child has clubfoot, or you suspect that he or she might have clubfoot, please call (818) 408-2800 or (626) 447-2184 and make an appointment today.
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