Clubfoot is an abnormality that happens at birth. It is a condition in which the foot of the baby is twisted and is out of its original shape or position. In children who have a clubfoot condition, the tissues that connect the tendons to the muscles are shorter than what the size should be. Clubfoot is a birth defect that is very common.
What causes clubfoot?
The causes of clubfoot are not exactly known. The bones could be abnormal in shape or position in some children. It is thought that maternal smoking could be a link to the child developing clubfoot.
In very rare instances, clubfoot could be associated with spina bifida or other neuromuscular diseases. When this happens, the foot is highly deformed.
The common symptoms of clubfoot are:
- Downward or an inward twist of the top of the foot
- The heel is turned towards the inside and the arch is highly pronounced
- The foot could look as if it is upside down. This happens in severe cases
- The calf muscles are not well developed
- In case only one foot is affected than the foot looks shorter than the other foot
Treatment for clubfoot
If a baby has a clubfoot condition then the doctor will start its treatment immediately after birth. This is because the baby will start to use its feet much later and thus it needs to be fixed early.
The doctor may suggest either a cast or a surgery for the treatment.
The doctor can easily turn the baby’s clubfoot in the right direction because the baby’s tendons at this stage stretch and bend easily. The doctor then moves the foot to the right position and then puts on a cast to hold the foot in place.
After a week, the cast is removed and stretched to fit again and a new cast is put on it. This is done for some weeks or even months. This will be followed by an x-ray to check that the bones are moving to the right position slowly.
The baby will have to wear a shoe that is specially designed for this purpose and it helps to keep the foot at a right angle.
If the baby’s tendons and tissue are very short then the condition cannot be treated by casting. This is where the doctor may suggest surgery. The surgery is done usually between 6 months to a year. Here the surgery treats the condition in one sitting only. The tendons are lengthened and the doctor uses other methods to turn the foot so that it gets back to its normal position.
The baby will have to wear a cast to keep the foot at the right angle.
The condition could be severe or mild and more than half of the children who have a clubfoot condition have it in both the feet. The condition is treated right after birth. The treatment for clubfoot can be done without surgery if the condition is mild. Surgery is needed for complicated conditions.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)