Baby Steps: Correcting Clubfoot

feet of child running through grassWhen babies make the transition to “toddlers on the move,” there are a variety of different methods they use to get around. They go from being carried to strollers to crawling, and maybe even scooting, all leading up to that big moment when they take their first step—and then it’s off to the races!

If your baby was born with clubfoot, this evolution of movement will need a little assistance, but not to worry—Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center will help your little one get to that all important milestone, and you will be chasing your little rascal around just like the parent of any other child!

In the same way there are different methods children use to start moving, there are also different methods involved in correcting clubfoot.

The Ponseti Method involves gentle manipulation of your child’s foot, easing it into proper alignment and holding it in place with a cast. This process occurs weekly over several months, repositioning and recasting until normal positioning is achieved. Special shoes and braces continue to keep the foot in place. A surgical procedure may be necessary to lengthen the Achilles tendon as well.

The French Method is referred to as the functional or physical therapy method because it consists of stretching exercises used to manipulate the foot back into position. Adhesive tape and a splint are then used to hold it in place. Again, this process must occur on a weekly basis, but may need to continue for two to three years. Surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon often accompanies this method as well.

The Surgical method is reserved for severe cases that do not respond to conservative measures. Procedures involve adjustment and repositioning of tendons, ligaments, and joints. Pins may be used to maintain correct alignment and casts will be necessary for up to eight weeks, followed by special shoes to avoid recurrence.

No matter the method, the goal is to start correcting clubfoot within the first or second week after birth, when your baby’s bones are still flexible. With patience and prompt treatment, your child should then be able to wear normal shoes and play like any other kid.

If you are concerned that your newborn may have clubfoot, don’t delay. Contact the experts at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center by dialing (303) 423-2520 or visiting our offices in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, and Granby, CO today.
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