Family Matters When Treating Clubfoot
In America, about 1 in every 1,000 infants is born with clubfoot. It’s a lot more common than most people think! Sometimes the amount of twisting in the foot is so severe that the sole of the foot faces straight sideways, or even upward.
Treating clubfoot is one of our specialties at Southern California Foot & Ankle, and it’s probably the most rewarding of all the services we provide. Helping children born with this condition grow up with normal-looking, normal-functioning feet—and go on to lead active, healthy lives—is a joy and a passion.
But the truth is, we can’t do it alone. When it comes to treating clubfoot, a child’s parents and family are just as important as the doctors.
The most widely used and effective treatment for clubfoot, and the one employed by our practice, is known as the Ponseti method. For the first several weeks, it will be our job to make sure your baby’s foot is slowly repositioned into proper alignment by gently stretching it and then casting it to hold it in place. This process will need to reoccur once a week for 3-6 weeks, and a small in office procedure called an Achilles tenotomy will likely need to be performed.
However, once your little one’s feet are where they should be, it’ll be up to the family to make sure help make sure they stay that way. In order for the full treatment to be successful, children will need to wear braces for 3 months, and then weaned down to 12-14 hours at night for up to 4 or 5 years or age. Parents will also need to help their young ones through stretching exercises monitor and maintain flexibility. Parents will need to make sure braces are applied properly every day—no exceptions! If the brace isn’t worn as intended, the likelihood that the clubfoot will return is extremely high.
Don’t be discouraged, though! We will support you with everything you need, including training, equipment, schedules, and follow-up appointments. We even offer access to a support groups of parents who have gone through or are going through the same experiences as you. When doctors and families work together, the vast majority of children born with clubfoot are able to develop healthy, normal-looking feet without pain or needing extensive surgery. To learn more or to schedule your appointment with us, please call (949) 364-9255 today.