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Many of our children are involved in youth sports organizations. Certain foot deformities, such as clubfoot, can make it nearly impossible to participate in such great organizations. If your child is born with this deformity, you will probably want to get it treated before they begin walking. Most young people make a seamless transition without any sign that there was anything wrong in the first place.
This congenital foot deformity is present when the child is born. In this case, your child’s foot is turned inward so much that it resembles a golf club. This occurs when the tissues in the foot that connect muscle to the bone are shorter than normal. About half the time, if it’s present in one foot it’s present in the other as well. It isn’t a painful condition for infants who can’t walk, but it can make trying to take those first steps very difficult. It’s recommended that treatment begin as early as possible to make the transition easier.
Treatment doesn’t necessarily mean your baby will need surgery. We start out by using the Ponseti method, which is a series of casting and stretching. First, the foot will be gently stretched into the correct position. Then, a cast will be applied to hold it still. This goes on for about six to eight weeks until the deformity has improved.
Afterwards, a very quick and minor procedure called an Achilles tenotomy might be required. This is just a simple release of a tightened Achilles tendon and will require no stitches. A final cast will be applied during the last three weeks of healing, but by the end of this period, the foot should be normal. Many children will be required to wear leg braces to prevent this deformity from returning.
This is only one method. For more information regarding the treatment of clubfoot call Dr. Marco Vargas at (888) 784-5335 to schedule an appointment at Foot & Ankle Associates in Sugar Land, TX.
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