DESCRIPTIONClubfoot is an inherited deformity of the foot or feet. The condition is not painful, but if uncorrected, it prevents normal walking. Clubfoot occurs more often in newborn boys than girls.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to correct the deformity (rare).
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Foot or feet of the newborn point down, turn inward, and curl under.
A shortened Achilles tendon and deformed bones in the foot. This is an inherited condition or is caused by the position of the fetus in the uterus.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCECannot be prevented at present. Crippling can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
X-rays of the feet.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSPermanent foot deformity and crippling without treatment.
The foot can usually be restored to normal in young children with about 3 months of treatment. For older children, treatment may improve--but not completely correct -- the disorder.
The goal of treatment is to correct the deformity and support the correction until your child's foot muscles are strong enough to maintain it. Your doctor may prescribe stretching exercises, massage, physical therapy, various splints for day or night, casts, or surgery.
Your child will need patience and encouragement with all these methods. Your attitude and the time you spend with the child are an important part of parent-child bonding.
After surgery or casting, elevate the child's feet with pillows at nap or bedtime to reduce the risk of swelling and pain.
If your child has a cast, inspect it daily for signs of infection. These include: a wet spot, bad odor or tightness, or the foot in the cast may appear blue, pale, and cold compared to the other. See Care of Casts, Appendix 41.
MEDICATIONMedicine usually is not necessary for this disorder.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
No restrictions. Corrective shoes will be necessary following treatment with splints or casts.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has signs of a foot deformity.
Bleeding or signs of infection occur under a cast.
Signs of muscle pulling return after treatment.