From getting a new tooth to rashes and infections, parents are always looking for ways to make their kids feel all better. Not all problems have a fast cure, like clubfoot, which requires a little more time and attention. Knowing that parents want to help their child get better is a great sign and gives us hope that we can work as a team to treat the problem successfully.
What is Clubfoot?
When a baby is born with clubfoot, their feet are twisted and are unable to function properly. The baby is not in pain, even though the twisted placement looks uncomfortable. This doesn’t have to be a permanent or lifelong problem with proper treatment. The sooner the feet are straightened, the better. This is because it’s easier to fix early on and allows the child to stay on schedule with their physical development, like learning to balance.
The Best Treatment Process
The treatment takes a lot of time and patience, but it doesn’t hurt the baby. The basic process involves stretching and turning the feet a little at a time. The goal is to get them into a proper position. After each manipulation, the feet are cast to hold them in place until the next visit. The best time to start the process is within the first two weeks of life since the bones and soft tissue are still malleable. The treatment process will take months of turning and casting, but at the end, the feet are properly aligned.
There are different tools available to use, including special shoes, stretches, and braces to keep everything in position once the feet face the right way and are in line. These are not always needed and depend on the child, but they can help keep everything where it should be. Occasionally, the clubfeet require more than just the turning, stretching, and casting. Surgery can help some cases where the Achilles tendons are too short and need to be lengthened. Other cases require fusing or pinning bones together into the right position.
As you start the treatment process and get a better idea on severity and needs, a more accurate timeline on what to expect is mapped out. We want to always work together to get the feet fixed as soon as possible, but also ensuring a great result that will last forever.
If you start on the necessary treatment early enough, your child should be able to take their first steps on untwisted feet. The good news is that having clubfoot doesn’t have to be a life-changing diagnosis. While we can’t prescribe a quick medicine to cure your child, we can help make it better. If you have any questions or concerns about clubfoot or the treatment process, give us a call.