Becoming a new parent can certainly be exciting, but there is also a lot of room for worry and concern. Any little thing that seems unusual can strike a chord of panic or anxiety. Such is the case when observing clubfoot in your baby’s feet. Here at Carolina Podiatry Group, we know that you already have enough on your plate, so let’s try to ease that anxiety a bit by looking at this foot deformity.
Clubfoot is a condition found in roughly one of every 1000 live births where the infant’s foot is so severely turned inward that the foot’s bottom faces off to the side or even upwards. It might look like a rather painful position, but the child’s bones and connective tissues are soft and malleable and it does not cause the baby pain, so there is no need to be concerned about that.
The good news about clubfoot is that this particular foot deformity is often treated successfully with the use of nonsurgical methods, including the Ponseti method. This is the most commonly used technique throughout the world and it entails manipulation, casting, Achilles tenotomy, and bracing.
Manipulation means gently stretching and moving the affected foot into proper positioning. At that point, it is placed in a cast that runs the length of the leg. Achilles tenotomy is a procedure used to release tightness in the tendon by making a minor cut—so small that it does not require stitches—in the Achilles. This allows the tendon to grow to a proper length. The bracing part of the process ensures that the procedure has permanent results for the child.
When conservative methods do not produce the desired results, surgery can be used to adjust the foot to a normal position. This is rare, but still important to recognize as a viable option for certain cases.
Always keep in mind that Carolina Podiatry Group is here for you and your entire family, no matter what age. We provide expert care to handle any foot or ankle condition—including clubfoot. Schedule your appointment at any of our three locations online or call (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster office, (803) 548-FEET (3338) for our Fort Mill office, or (803) 285-1411 for our Chester, SC office today!