Clubfoot is characterized by the development of short and tight tendons in the feet and legs. These tendons are responsible for connecting the leg muscles to the bone. The tendon’s shortness pulls the feet inward. Clubfoot is often discovered in prenatal scans and can be diagnosed at birth. Studies have concluded Boys are twice as likely as girls to develop this condition.
Dr.Hyderi and the team of experts at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois have diagnosed and treated pediatric Clubfoot, achieving incredible results for thousands of our patients’ children. We lean on our years of experience to provide your child with the best and most efficient treatment options available. Our goal is to give your child the best possible foundation for them to develop and grow!
How to Recognize Pediatric Clubfoot
Children can experience Clubfoot in mild or severe cases, but it has the same general appearance. The condition is characterized by the foot being turned inward and a deep crease on the bottom of the foot.
In limbs affected by Clubfoot, the foot and leg are slightly shorter, and underdeveloped muscles lead to a thinner profile in the calves. This condition is most obvious when only one leg is affected.
Regardless of the type or how severe the condition manifests, clubfoot will not improve on its own without treatment. Leaving clubfoot untreated will force your child to walk on the outer edge of the foot instead of the sole. This irregular walking pattern will cause painful calluses, make them unable to wear shoes, and have constant pain in their feet that severely limits their mobility. Clubfoot can be classified in one of two ways, which are as follows:
Isolated Clubfoot is the most common form and occurs in children with no other contributing medical conditions.
Non-Isolated Clubfoot – occurs when your child’s clubfoot is associated with a neuromuscular condition. This can mean your child’s condition may be more resistant to the treatment, requiring a longer duration of nonsurgical treatment.
Treatment Options for Clubfoot
The goal of treatment is to obtain a functional, pain-free foot that enables standing and walking with the sole flat on the ground.
You should always undertake nonsurgical measures to correct clubfoot at first, regardless of how severe the condition appears. The Ponseti method is the most widely used non-surgical technique. This treatment utilizes gentle stretching and casting to correct the deformity over time. Elements of the method include:
Manipulation and casting Your baby’s foot is gently stretched and manipulated into a corrected position and held in that position by a full leg cast. This procedure is repeated in increments, correcting the malformation gradually over the course of 6 to 8 weeks.
Achilles tenotomy – approximately 90 percent of infants will require a simple procedure to release the remaining tightness in the Achilles tendon. Dr.Hyderi will use a very thin instrument to cut the tendon, allowing it to repair itself at a proper, full length. A new cast will be applied to the leg to protect the tendon and allow it to heal for another 3 weeks or so.
Bracing – Unfortunately, clubfoot has a tendency to recur even after successful treatment. To prevent the condition from developing again, your child will need to wear a brace for as long as a few years. This brace ensures the foot is kept at the correct angle and placement, forcing the proper development as your child grows. This may seem like a significant task to keep up with, but it is essential for the health of your child in the future.
Surgical treatment for clubfoot should only be considered in severe cases or at the direct recommendation of a specialist. The procedure and its complexities are completely dependent on your child’s condition and should be decided by a foot and ankle specialist!
Pediatric Clubfoot Treatment Available in Algonquin, Illinois
If you are concerned that your newborn may have clubfoot, or would like to learn more about the treatment process, reach out to the experts at Fook and Ankle Specialists of Illinois today! Call our offices to speak with a representative or schedule a consultation online today!