We can tell you that treating your baby’s clubfoot will be painless for them and should allow for normal development, but you may want to know more, like what is involved in the treatment and how long it will take. At Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists, we use the Ponseti method of serial casting—the gold standard of treatment for this deformity. Here’s what will happen:
- In the first week or two, we will gently stretch the tight tendons and ligaments of your baby’s feet and legs, and then apply the first cast. This does not hurt your baby. In the early weeks their bones and connecting tissues are still very soft and malleable.
- Every 5 to 7 days after the initial treatment, we will remove the cast, manipulate the limbs again, and reapply a new cast. The cast goes from toes to upper thigh, with the knees kept at right angles. Each time the bones will be moved a little closer to the correct alignment. This is repeated 5 to 7 times.
- Before the final cast is applied, the Achilles tendon may require a small procedure to lengthen and release the tension on it. It will grow together again during the three weeks that the final cast is worn.
- The final cast is removed, the feet will be “over-corrected” a bit, but that is not the end of the treatment. Because they may tend to revert to the original position, your baby will need to wear a special brace (an adjustable metal bar with shoes attached) full time for 2 to 3 months, and at night for 4-5 years. He or she will become accustomed to this. It is crucial for the success of the treatment.
As you can see, this is a complicated process that requires expert training for successful outcomes. Having trained directly with Dr. Ponseti in the casting method, Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists is well-qualified to administer this treatment. We are committed to helping children with all sorts of foot deformities. Please call our office in Ladera Ranch, CA at (949) 364-WALK (9255) and set up an appointment to discuss your child’s clubfoot or other problem. You can also contact us online to schedule or ask questions. Our goal is to provide excellent care in a compassionate environment.