What Every Parent Should Know about Clubfoot

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Baby's Feet with ClubfootIt’s a beautiful moment when a new child enters the world. Parents have been waiting and preparing for this moment for months. Whether it’s your first child or your fourth, you’re always excited and hopeful about this new life. It makes perfect sense that parents would be upset and frightened to have their newborn diagnosed with clubfoot. The good news, parents, is that you don’t have to panic. If your child has been diagnosed with clubbed feet, know that there are treatments that can correct the problem.

Clubfoot deformity is a common birth defect—one of the most common, in fact. Knowing what to expect from the condition can help you face it calmly and provide your baby with the treatment he or she needs. Here are a few quick facts about clubbed feet:

1. It is not painful for your baby in the early stages. It will only become painful later if it goes untreated.

2. No one is sure what causes the condition. It appears to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

3. The foot curves the way it does because the tendons on the inside of the leg connecting the leg muscles to your child’s foot are too short and tight. The calf muscle is also unusually thin.

4. Clubfoot does not improve without intervention. The feet will stay curved unless they are treated.

5. Most treatment is conservative and very successful. Surgery is reserved for unresponsive or abnormally stiff feet.

Conservative treatment typically follows a process of stretching and casting. Stretching helps lengthen and loosen the abnormally short and tight connectors, as well as untwist the foot. Casting keeps the foot in the proper place so the tight tissues continue to stretch and grow to fit a normal foot’s position. After this process, your child will switch to wearing special foot braces. By the time your child is walking, the feet should be completely corrected. When he or she is ready to start school, the correction should be permanent and create no problems walking, running, or playing.

The key to all of this succeeding, of course, is immediate treatment. Let our experienced team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you through this process. Make an appointment today at our Castle Pines or Parker, CO, offices by calling (303) 805-5156.

Photo Credit: otteddy via pixabay.com

Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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