Foot deformity caused by clubfoot can be debilitating if it's left untreated. If your child has clubfoot, the team of board-certified podiatrists at Albuquerque Associated Podiatrists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers innovative treatments. They use serial casting to slowly move foot bones into proper alignment to give your child proper mobility. Schedule an appointment with Albuquerque Associated Podiatrists by phone or online to learn more.
Clubfoot is a common birth defect that shows up in 1 in 1,000 newborns. Of those, 1 in 3 is born with two clubbed feet. The condition causes a baby’s foot to twist inward into an abnormal position. Seeking treatment for clubfoot gives your child the best chance of having normal mobility later in life.
Symptoms of clubfoot include a foot that’s turned inward or almost upside down, the top of the foot twisting downward and inward, one leg or foot that is slightly shorter than the other, and underdeveloped calf muscles in the affected leg.
While clubfoot is a serious deformity, it often isn’t painful. As your child learns to walk, clubfoot can become a problem if left untreated. Early treatment can produce the best outcome for your child.
Boys are nearly two times more likely than girls to develop clubfoot. Other risk factors include:
Complications that can result from untreated clubfoot include poor self-esteem, problems walking normally, an awkward gait, and arthritis.
While there’s no surefire way to avoid clubfoot, you can lower your baby’s risk of developing it by not drinking, smoking, or taking drugs that aren’t doctor-approved during pregnancy.
Your doctor can detect clubfoot soon after your baby is born by simply examining it. They often use X-rays to confirm the diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Often clubfoot is visible before birth during the routine 20-week pregnancy ultrasound.
Your child’s personalized clubfoot treatment depends on the severity of their condition. Your podiatrist could recommend:
Serial casting slowly moves bones in your child’s feet into proper alignment. Your Albuquerque Associated Podiatrists specialist gently stretches their foot toward a more appropriate position. They use a cast to hold the foot in its proper place.
After a week, your doctor removes the cast, stretches the foot a little more, and applies a new cast. Casting treatment takes 5-6 weeks and is paired with a minor surgical procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon. To get the best results, your child can wear special shoes during naps until they reach 3 or 4 years old.
Casting corrects clubfoot more than 95% of the time, but in severe cases, surgery will be needed to repair the foot’s structure and improve your child’s chance of normal mobility. After surgery, they will wear a cast and brace.
Don’t let clubfoot go untreated when simple solutions can restore your child’s ability to be active and to live a normal life. Schedule an appointment with Albuquerque Associated Podiatrists over the phone or online today.