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.