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Clark, NJ 07066

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By Clark Podiatry Center
May 04, 2017
Tags: clubfoot   Ponseti Method  

In about 1 in 1000 live births in the US, babies can be born with a deformity called Clubfoot. The infant’s foot can be turned inward or twisted out of shape. This birth defect, in which babies are born with short tendons, can affect the muscles in the feet, ankles, and calves. Doctors can identify clubfoot upon inspection shortly after birth, which can help increase the chance of correcting the problem without surgery as babies grow.

What causes clubfoot?

The exact cause of clubfoot is unknown, but researchers believe that is can be caused by a combination of hereditary factors and environment (during pregnancy). It seems that if the parents have had clubfoot, or if a sibling was born with it, subsequent babies are more likely to be born with clubfoot as well. As for environmental factors, there is not enough amniotic fluid, or if the mother smokes or uses drugs during pregnancy, there is a higher risk of abnormal growth. Additionally, genetic and development factors such as birth defects come into play, chances are higher for clubfoot.

What are Treatment Options?

If left untreated, your baby will have a harder time with crawling and walking. It may or may not cause pain, but things like gait, shoe size, and calf size can all affect quality of life. More serious, long-term consequences include mobility issues and development of arthritis. When treated early enough, further complications can be avoided.

Some treatment options include:

  • Ponseti method – Since your baby’s feet are still very flexible, your doctor will move the foot (or feet) into the correct position and put it in a cast to keep it there. This may also require re-casting to slowly move the foot into a better position for proper development. If necessary, the doctor may also require minor surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon.
  • Surgery – If the above method does not work, it may be necessary to perform a more invasive surgery in which several tendons need to be lengthened. A cast will be required after the surgery as well.

After the corrective measures are taken, it is important to keep up with maintenance procedures such as stretching and bracing to prevent the foot from reverting to the clubfoot position. This may mean using special shoes during the day and braces during the night. Even with surgery or Ponseti method treatment, your child may need additional corrective surgery when they are older and their bodies are more fully developed.

Was your baby born with clubfoot? Make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your child’s feet to find the best treatment for clubfoot. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

 

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Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470