Lullabies, tiny clothes, stuffed animals, and diapers – lots and lots of diapers – are all things new parents expect when a baby is born, but one thing that is hard to prepare for is a baby born with twisted feet.
Club foot is a common birth defect that can certainly be concerning at first sight. The foot is twisted downward and inward, resembling the head of a golf club. This deformity can occur in one or both feet, and may sometimes be so severe, that the foot appears to be upside down – obviously alarming. However, rest assured that this abnormal twisting is not painful, or even uncomfortable, for your baby. You can also take comfort in knowing that the condition can be corrected, and many times with conservative methods only.
Because newborn bones are malleable, and surrounding tissues flexible, your little one’s feet can be slowly manipulated into proper alignment. However, to prevent any long-term problems, it’s important to address club foot right away -- in the first week or two after birth -- while bones and tissues remain soft and easily movable.
The typical approach is to stretch and turn your baby’s foot, then brace or cast it to hold it in that position. This process is then repeated once or twice a week for several months until feet are pointed in the right direction. Sometimes, a minor surgical procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon may be necessary. Once in proper alignment, stretches, braces, and special shoes are often recommended to keep feet in position. By the time your child starts to walk, his or her feet should be completely corrected -- and you should be ready to chase, run, and play with your toddler! You’ll still have lots of diapers, but you can rest easy knowing that your baby’s feet will no longer be abnormally turned.
We hope that calms some concerns, however we are happy to discuss clubfoot further with you and answer any questions you may have about the care of your baby’s feet. Just dial (303) 805-5156 to find out more or to make an appointment.