Clubfoot: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments
Also known as Talipes Equinovarus, clubfoot is a common disorder of the
feet, in which the feet assume a deformed position. In severe cases of
the disorder, the foot turns inward, while the bottom is contoured upwards.
Other patients might have one foot that is smaller than the other, while
in some cases both the feet might be rotated from the front to face each
other. The disorder is usually congenital, and affects both feet in more
than 50% of the cases. Even though the disorder is painless in infants,
orthopedic treatment should begin immediately when the abnormality is noticed, since complications
can arise with age of it is left untreated.
- Postural clubfoot is caused by incorrect positioning of the developing
baby in the mother’s womb.
- The disorder is also believed to have a hereditary basis, being passed
on in alternate generations. This means that if one of your parents has
clubfoot, chances are that it will also occur in your child.
- Clubfoot could also be linked to other disorders of the nerves, spine,
brain, muscles, and bones. It is thus advisable that infants with clubfoot
also undergo screening for spina bifida and other related disorders.
- The disorder is usually not accompanied with any pain or inflammation.
- It involves a visible deformity that gets worse with time if left untreated.
This could be downward-pointing toes, inward turning of the foot, etc.
- Children with club foot often find it difficult to participate in normal
play activity, and can also have trouble finding well-fitting footwear.
- Development of corns and ulcers on the outside of the foot as a result
of abnormal walking pattern.
The pediatric orthopedic surgeons at
OrthoTexas are well-experienced in treating this condition. Treatment must not be
delayed, and should be started immediately the condition is diagnosed.
- Non-surgical treatment involving manipulation of the foot using casts,
splints, or tapes, is done within 3 days of birth. The treatment takes
around 6 weeks, and must be performed under constant supervision and evaluation,
along with regular physical therapy.
- Success of the treatment is evaluated through an X-ray examination. The
child usually has to wear special footwear for 2-3 years after treatment.
- Surgery is very rare for clubfoot treatment, and might be needed in case
of severe abnormality in the tendons and ligaments.