Clubfoot

Tailored Treatment and Comprehensive Care

Clubfoot describes a range of congenital foot abnormalities, present at birth, involving a baby’s foot that is twisted out of shape or position. This is caused by short and tight tendons connecting muscles of the leg to bones in the feet. The deformity can be so severe that the bottom of the foot faces sideways or even points upward. It is one of the more common birth defects of the foot, occurring roughly 1 in every 1,000 births, and is not typically painful during infancy.

Although clubfoot does not cause pain, the foot will remain deformed if left untreated. This can cause significant discomfort and difficulty with walking normally or physical activity as a child ages. When treated properly, most children born with clubfoot are able to live full and productive lives with little signs of the deformity.

Torrance Memorial Physician Network is comprised of board certified specialists, including specialists who focus specifically on conditions that involve the foot and ankle. By providing personalized care, we ensure patients and their families receive the information and treatment to help them obtain the results they need.

Treatment for Clubfoot

To ensure that a child’s foot is stable and functional by the time they begin walking, treatment for clubfoot can begin soon after birth. In most cases, clubfoot can be effectively treated through nonsurgical approaches, which may include:

  • Gentle stretching into the correct position
  • Casting to slowly reposition bones in the clubfoot
  • Bracing to keep the foot in position once it has been corrected

The process of treating a clubfoot through nonsurgical means can take time. For example, casting and stretching can take up to four months to effectively straighten a clubfoot. Once the foot has been properly aligned, a brace can then be used to maintain positioning. Braces and supporting devices may be needed until a child has been walking on their own for up to a year or longer, and muscles may often cause the foot to return to the clubfoot position.

When nonsurgical approaches cannot correct a clubfoot, surgery may be required to realign ligaments, tendons, and joints in the ankle and foot. Surgery can address all deformities in the foot at once, and can be performed when a child is 6 to 12 months of age. Casting and bracing can still be used following surgery to ensure correct position.

Request an Appointment through Torrance Memorial Physician Network

Taking an active role in addressing clubfoot can help avoid the challenges of a serious functioning disability later in your child’s life, and can allow them to run, play, and wear normal shoes as they age. Learn more about how our specialists can help by requesting an appointment with us today.