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Pediatric Orthopedics - Clubfoot

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Clubfoot is a foot deformity where the foot is hooked and turned inward, with the side or the top of the foot pointing down. 

It is due in part to a shortened tendon in the foot. It is congenital, meaning a child is born with it. It may affect one or both feet. Clubfoot is painless and very treatable in infants.

Marshfield Clinic has orthopedists available to diagnose and treat any problem with the bones and joints in children.


Clubfoot is very treatable and the goal is to make the child's foot look normal, move in a normal way, and be comfortable to walk on. A pediatric orthopedist may recommend the following treatment options:


Using the Ponseti method is the most common treatment in infants and ideally begins in the first week of life. A series of 6-8 toe-to-groin casts are used. 

The casts are changed weekly at first, then every other week. By 3 months of age, casting may be complete. 

Between casts, the doctor moves and stretches the foot into a more normal position. To maintain correction after casting is finished, the child wears shoes attached to a bar all the time for 3 months, then only at night for 2-4 years.

Other options may be used instead of, or in addition to, the Ponseti method. These options include moving and stretching the foot by hand, using short-leg casts, and using Velcro splints on the child's foot for periods of time.


Surgery​ may be done in children 4-5 months or older who have not been treated, or who have not achieved full correction with casting. The surgery releases the shortened tendon that is pulling on the foot.​

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What Do You Know About Birth Defects?

See how much you know about birth defects. Learn what you can do to lower your risk.

1. How many babies in the U.S. are born with birth defects?
2. When is an unborn baby most at risk of developing a birth defect?
3. Which of these is a common birth defect?
4. Which of these habits of the mother-to-be can be harmful to the fetus?
5. A woman who is pregnant or considering pregnancy should get a health checkup. Which of these vaccines should be up to date before she gets pregnant because of the danger of the disease to the fetus?
6. Healthcare providers advise women to take 400 mcg of folic acid daily before they get pregnant and during pregnancy. What can this help prevent in the baby?
7. Pregnant women should not handle cat litter to lower the risk of becoming infected with which of these?
8. Which of these kinds of medicines can cause birth defects if taken when pregnant?
9. During prenatal care, a healthcare provider may recommend genetic screening tests for certain disorders. What is one thing that amniocentesis tests for?
10. Extra or missing chromosomes trigger genetic birth defects. What factor greatly increases the risk for an abnormal number of chromosomes in the fetus?

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