Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

Our daughter was born with a mild case of clubfeet. What's the best way to treat this problem? We've heard it's a wait-and-see kind of problem. But we don't want to wait-and-see we made a mistake later by doing nothing now.

There's still some debate about the best treatment for this disorder. Some may think the wait-and-see approach is adequate for very mild cases, where others suggest early intervention for the best results. There's nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in pediatrics to help you make this decision.

Some of the more effective treatment approaches today involve correction of the foot with serial casts and/or splints. The child's foot is moved as close to neutral as possible and held in place. As the ligaments and soft tissues stretch, the foot can be corrected even more. A new cast or modification of the splint is made to accomodate this new position.

Over a period of weeks to months, the foot is realigned without scar tissue while avoiding major surgery. Some children will need minor surgery to lengthen tight tendons. The length of time and methods used to treat clubfoot may vary depending on the severity of the condition.

Philippe Favre, MSc, et al. The Contralateral Foot in Children with Unilateral Clubfoot. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. January/February 2007. Vol. 27. No. 1. Pp. 54-59.

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