Clubfoot is a genetic deformity that happens in about one in every 1,000 children. Clubfoot happens more often in males and can affect one or both feet. When a baby has clubfoot, the foot points down and inward because the tendons in the foot are shorter than usual and there are abnormalities in the bones.
New moms should know that there is no way to prevent clubfoot. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes clubfoot, although it is believed to be genetic.
The good news is that clubfoot can be detected before birth using ultrasound. An ultrasound is similar to an X-ray, except it uses sound waves to create a computer image of the unborn baby in your womb. Most women undergo an ultrasound while pregnant.
What should you do if your unborn baby has clubfoot?
While clubfoot can’t be treated until your baby is born, knowing about your baby’s condition while you’re pregnant will help you plan ahead for treatment.
Treatment for clubfoot should begin around the first week of your baby’s life. That may sound too early, but it’s easiest to correct a baby’s clubfoot when their bones are still soft. Also, by undergoing early treatment, your baby can grow up to wear regular shoes and have an active, normal life.
The Ponseti method is the best treatment for clubfoot. This multi-step, multi-visit process involves a series of non-painful adjustment and thin plaster castings that slowly move your child’s clubfoot into the normal position.
Every 4 to 7 days, the foot is carefully moved a little closer to the correct position and a new cast is applied to the stretched foot. After the castings are complete, your child may have to have a small incision (tenotomy) to cut the Achilles tendon, which allows it to grow back at the right length.
The Ponseti method usually fixes your baby’s clubfoot within 2 to 3 months. After it is completed, your baby will need to wear special shoe/brace for a few years, depending on his or her condition. While that may sound difficult, most children adapt very quickly.
It’s important to note that clubfoot will not correct itself on its own. A baby does not just “grow out” of clubfoot. Your child will not be able to walk normally with untreated clubfoot or even wear normal shoes.
With today’s technology and medical knowledge, there is no reason for your baby to suffer into childhood and adulthood with a clubfoot deformity. If you have been told that your unborn baby has clubfoot or have concerns, please call our office today.
We have been helping patients from all over US with deformities and illnesses of the foot and ankle. We have always pushed the envelope to come up with new procedures, techniques and devices. Our procedures have appeared on multiple national TV programs including the nationally syndicated The Doctors. Our goal is helping people walk again and restoring their quality of life.
DR. ALIREZA KHOSROABADI
Dr. Alireza Khosroabadi is a Fellowship trained foot and ankle specialist graduated from New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Khosroabadi completed a three year surgical residency in New York. He also completed a one year fellowship at the Rubin institute for Advanced Orthopedics / International Center for Limb Lengtheningat Sinai Hospital in Baltimore Maryland with world renowned Orthopedic Surgeons , Dror Paley M.D. and John Herzenberg M.D.