There are many foot problems that can be present at birth, including clubfoot. Clubfoot is a deformity of one or both feet. Here are five things parents need to know about this birth defect.
What are the signs of clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a very obvious condition and is often noticed by doctors soon after a child is born. If your child has clubfoot, one or both of their feet will be twisted downward and inward. Sometimes, the foot is turned so much that the sole of the foot is facing upwards. While the condition looks very painful, don't worry, as the condition doesn't cause children any pain or discomfort.
What causes clubfoot?
The cause of clubfoot is still unknown. Much research has been done to identify the cause, but so far, no genetic, syndromal, or environmental cause has been identified in most kids with this condition. Club foot has sometimes been associated with factors like dwarfism or exposure to teratogenic agents, but this still doesn't explain most of the cases. Researchers suspect that there may be a genetic link as the incidence of this condition is higher in first-degree relations than in the general population.
How serious is clubfoot?
Clubfoot isn't a problem for infants, but when your child gets a bit older, the condition will make it very hard for them to stand or walk. For this reason, clubfoot needs to be treated as soon as possible.
How is clubfoot treated?
If clubfoot is caught early, it can be treated with non-surgical methods such as splinting. Your child's foot will be held in place with a splint for several months until the foot's position is corrected. If splinting doesn't work, or if the condition isn't caught early enough to try splinting, your child may need surgery.
Surgery to treat clubfoot is fairly complicated as many of the foot's structures, including bones and tendons, need to be released and re-positioned. After the surgery, your child will be fitted with a cast to hold their foot in place during the healing process.
Is clubfoot common?
Clubfoot is a fairly common birth defect. Its overall prevalence in the United States is 1.29 cases per 1,000 births. The prevalence rate varies slightly among different races. Among non-Hispanic whites, the rate is 1.38 cases per 1,000 births, while the rate is 1.30 per 1,000 among Hispanics and 1.14 per 1,000 among African Americans.
If your child has clubfoot, take them to a podiatrist immediately so that treatment can be started. For more information, contact a clinic like Northside Foot & Ankle.Share
2 September 2015
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