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Clubfoot
Parents know immediately if their newborn has a clubfoot. Some will even know before the child is born, if an ultrasound was done during the pregnacy. A clubfoot occurs in approximately one in every 1,000 births, with boys slightly outnumbering girls. One or both feet may be affected.
Doctors still aren't certain why it happens, though it can occur in some families with previous clubfeet. In fact, your baby's chance of having a clubfoot is twice as likelyif you, your spouse or other children also have it. Less severe infant foot problems are common and are often incorrectly called clubfoot.
Symptoms
The appearance is unmistakable: the foot is turned to the side and it may even appear that the top of the foot is where the bottom should be. The involved foot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than the normal side.
It is not a painful condition. But if it is not treated, clubfoot will lead to significant discomfort and disability by the teenage years.
Treatment
Treatment should begin right away to have the best chance for a successful outcome without the need for surgery. Over the past 10-15 years, more and more success has been achieved in correcting clubfeet4 without the need for sugery. A particular method of stretching and casting, known as the Ponseti Method, has been responsible for this. With this method, the doctor changed the cast every week for several weeks, always stretching the foot toward the correct position. The heel cord is then released followed by one more cast for three weeks.
Once the foot has been corrected, the infant must wear a brace at night for two years to maintain the correction. This has been extremely effective but requires the parent's participation, the clubfoot will almost certainly recur. That's because the muscles around the foot can pull it back to the abnormal position.
The goal of this, and any treatment program, is to make your newborn's clubfoot (or feet) functional, painless and stable by the time he or she is ready to walk.
 
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