ABC Medical Center > Clubfoot

What is Clubfoot?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It refers to a common congenital problem in which the baby’s foot is crooked, as the tendons are shorter than normal, causing the toes to turn toward the opposite leg.

Since most children have it in both feet, it is important to treat this anomaly weeks after birth, because if it is not done, it can cause walking difficulties later on. Although the causes of clubfoot are unknown, it occurs more frequently in males.

Experts believe that its appearance is due to genetic and environmental issues. Some potential risks can contribute to the development of clubfoot, such as:

  • Relatives with clubfoot.
  • Presence of other congenital conditions.
  • Lack of amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
  • Smoking: if the mother smokes during pregnancy, it increases the chances that the baby will be born with clubfoot.

Signs and symptoms Clubfoot

Typical clubfoot physiognomy is as follows:

  • Poor calf and foot development.
  • Increased arch and deviated heel.
  • Crooked foot that gives the impression of being upside down.
  • Shorter length of the affected leg.

This condition does not cause pain or discomfort, but if it is not treated in time, it can cause various complications, including:

  • Arthritis development.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Difficulty walking
  • Problems in the calf muscles, sores, and calluses on the foot.

Although clubfoot cannot be prevented, if you are pregnant, it is important that you avoid alcohol and tobacco, as well as indirect exposure to tobacco smoke and self-medication, to reduce the possibility of birth defects in your baby.

Diagnosis and treatment Clubfoot

Your doctor, through an ultrasound, can detect clubfoot in the twentieth week of gestation. If it is not revealed on ultrasound, it is diagnosed at the time of delivery by observing the shape and position of the newborn’s foot. If considered necessary, your doctor may request an X-ray to know the severity of the condition.

Although it is impossible to solve the problem before birth, knowing the situation allows you to learn more about this condition and seek the appropriate medical specialists to treat the condition as soon as possible.

Treatment should begin no later than two weeks after your baby’s birth, to take advantage of the level of flexibility in their bone and joint tissues, as well as their tendons.

This therapy consists of giving the foot a more normal view and achieving a better level of mobility before the child begins learning to walk, seeking to avoid possible complications when it grows up.

Treatment options include:

  • Ponseti Method:
    • Cast: place a cast two weeks after the baby’s birth and replace it every week with a new one so that the foot gradually turns in the right direction.
    • Orthopedic splint: once the foot is in the correct position, a splint with special shoes or boots is put on each end to prevent the foot from twisting again. This splint is usually worn for three months.
  • Surgery: to add length to the tendons and ligaments so that the foot achieves a more natural posture.

At the Orthopedics and Traumatology Center, we seek to improve the lives of patients restricted or immobilized by musculoskeletal disorders or injuries. We specialize in the care of the locomotor system by integrating the latest medical, biological, and technological advances, in strict adherence to the highest international standards of patient care.


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