Club foot is a medical condition that causes one or both of an individual’s feet to resemble the shape of a club. It’s a condition that occurs during the first three months of pregnancy and affects 1 1 in every 1 1, 000,000 babies born worldwide.
The cause is unknown, and it can affect one or both feet. A clubfoot occurs when the tendons and muscles which work together to flex, extend and move the ankles, knees, hips, and/or spine are shortened or have been tightened.
In other words, this condition occurs due to muscle pain in the foot, which leads to the deformed growth of the bone structure. This condition may affect both legs but is sometimes found in one leg only.
Though club foot cannot be completely cured, club foot treatments have shown tremendous results and can help improve the appearance and function of your child’s feet.
And when treatment doesn’t work, sometimes surgery is recommended to correct the condition.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom is downward-pointing deformed or rotated feet (in-toeing or out-toeing), meaning they turn inward toward each other with the soles facing up; this causes difficulty walking as toes scrape along the ground, resulting in pain when club foot.
An ankle that turns outwards as well as upwards. In rare cases, the ankle will only turn outwards. This difference causes a child to walk on their ankles instead of their toes, affecting balance and causing the child to have a limp when walking. This can also cause pain in the knees and hips.
Clubfoot Treatment Options:
Although Club foot treatments were first practiced as early as 6000 BC. In this procedure, the Greek doctors would rotate the club foot toward a “correct” direction and secure it in place with a bandage or splint that was worn for several months. This process is similar to how orthopedic surgeons fix club feet today.
The goal of treatment is to restore painless movement within normal limits by correcting the deformities in the feet.
• Ponseti method.
• Ponseti Half Soles.
The Ponseti Method:
The Ponseti method involves applying a plaster cast to your child’s foot every 2 weeks, beginning immediately after birth. Each cast is held in place with Velcro straps that are progressively tightened until the foot is fully corrected at around 12-18 months of age.
During this process, your little one must wear a postoperative brace and be fitted for special shoes called “Ponseti Half Soles” to cover the top of their feet and help reduce friction as they walk.
Thereafter, braces may need to be worn for another few years as the bones continue to grow and become strong enough to carry weight on the feet.
• Ponseti Half Soles:
Once your child turns three years old, they may need to wear special shoes called “Ponseti Half Soles”. You can buy the clubfoot shoes online, which are similar to flip-flops without backs.
They help reduce friction as your child walks., which usually occurs when they are between 6 months and 18 months old. Your child can wear the Ponseti shoes for years to help reduce friction as your child walks before transitioning to normal shoes.
Although surgery may be an option, it is not commonly used because there are risks that could have long-term effects. Surgery should only be considered if the deformity is severe or if the clubfoot fails to improve after several months of non-surgical treatments, which usually occurs when they are between 6 months and 18 months old.
Surgery primarily focuses on lengthening tight tendons in the foot – such as those connecting muscles to bones (the Achilles tendon), those controlling movement (peroneal tendons), and those keeping the bottom of the foot stiff (plantar fascia).
ClubFoot Treatment Plan
If you believe your child’s clubfoot will require long-term care, it is best to consult with a clubfoot specialist to create an appropriate treatment plan. The goal of treatment is to restore painless movement within normal limits by correcting the deformities in the feet. Club foot treatments have shown tremendous results and can help improve the appearance and function of your child’s feet.