Did you know that about one in every 1,000 children is born with the deformity known as “Clubfoot” (or as it’s known by its official name, congenital talipes equinovarus)? Clubfoot describes a range of abnormal positions of the foot but usually it’s when the foot of an infant points down and inward. Although it can happen in one or both feet, in almost 50% of the infants affected, both feet have the deformity.
Who Gets Clubfoot?
Clubfoot happens more often in boys than girls. The causes of it are not fully understood. There is definitely a genetic component to this deformity. If someone in your family has it, you are more likely to have a baby with Clubfoot and if you’ve already had an infant born with it, the chances are greater that other children born into the same family will have it. Sometimes, however, Clubfoot is the result of the baby’s position while developing in the mother’s womb. It can also be caused by other problems that affect the muscle, nerve, or bone systems, such as a brain injury or stroke.
Clubfoot is not painful to infants and, with early treatment, should be able to be effectively treated before the child starts to walk. Because it can be linked to other conditions, however, such as spina bifida, it’s important that a child born with this be screened for other health issues.
Clubfoot will not straighten out or go away on its own without treatment. The feet will stay twisted out of shape and the affected foot may be smaller than the other and even cause the one leg to be shorter than the other. Obviously, this means a great disability to a child once they are ready to begin walking. At Great Neck Family Foot Care, we want to see your baby as soon as any foot abnormality has been observed. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano are leaders in pediatric foot care in Nassau County. In most cases, Clubfoot is treated with a combination of casting and gradually manipulating the foot into the correct position. If an infant does not respond to this method of treatment, surgery may be required.
Your child’s feet are the foundation of a healthy life. If you have concerns about the shape of your child’s foot, schedule an appointment today at our Great Neck office by calling (516) 482-5999.