What to do if your baby is born with a clubfoot?
A clubfoot is a disability of the foot that is normally present at birth. It occurs in about one per 1000 live births which makes it a reasonably common condition. When a baby arrives the midwife or doctor is going to check them for many different disorders as part of the screening routine. A clubfoot is among those conditions that they typically check for. A clubfoot is described as when the foot is in a downward and inward position as compared with normal. This is technically known as planterflexed, inverted and abducted placement of the foot. In the grand scheme of things a clubfoot is normally relatively minor condition but still can be quite upsetting at the birth as it is visible.
Typically, it is an isolated problem, but occasionally it is part of a range of symptoms making up a syndrome. Those with this deformity will also be more prone to have a dislocated hip at birth. The management of a clubfoot would depend on the severity and characteristics of it. There are generally two types of clubfoot; flexible and rigid. A flexible clubfoot is normally managed with regular mobilization, manipulation and stretching out and then the foot is put into a plaster cast to hold it in a more corrected position. After a period of time, which will rely on how severe it is, the plaster cast is removed and the foot is yet again mobilized and stretched with a new plaster cast being applied after that to hold the foot in an even more corrected position. This process has been well researched to be frequently very effective. If this therapy is not successful or if the deformity is inflexible then a surgical technique is indicated. Technically this is a difficult surgery as the foot and structures are extremely small. There are numerous structures from the bone, to the tendons, to the ligaments that should be operated on to move the foot into a more corrected position, making it complex.