You're Not Alone
If you or your child has clubfoot, you are not alone. Worldwide, roughly 1.2 people per 1000 are born with clubfoot. This means that in the United States alone, 10 babies are born with clubfeet every day.
If you are a parent, you may be feeling any combination of shock, denial, guilt, and fear. This is all very normal. Take a deep breath and realize that none of this is the fault of you or your partner. And of the multitude of birth defects that could happen to your baby, this one has hope! This one is completely treatable!
The Ponseti Method of treatment for clubfoot is minimally invasive and 95% effective. You can read details about the process on this website. As a quick overview, treatment involves the gentle manipulation of the child's foot and the application of toe-to-groin plaster casts. In each session, the ligaments and tendons of the foot are gently stretched and then a cast is applied to keep the foot in its new corrected position. The sessions are repeated every 4-7 days, and gradually, the displaced bones and taut ligaments are brought back into alignment. Generally 5-6 sessions will be required to obtain a correction. Before applying the last plaster cast the heel cord is often clipped to complete the correction and by the time the cast is removed 2-3 weeks later, the tendon has regenerated to proper length and strength. In order to prevent relapse, the child will be fitted with a brace consisting of a bar with high top, open-toed shoes attached to it. The child will need to wear this brace full-time for the first 2-3 months and then when the child sleeps at night and nap time for ~4 years.
Another informative publication is Clubfoot: Ponseti Management (also known as the Red Ponseti Book) produced by Global-HELP Publications. This is a shorter version of the above manual and it has translations in multiple languages. Visit www.global-help.org for ordering information.
If you are the parent of an older child, the Ponseti Method can still help. Click here for more information.
We can help!
Regardless of your situation, many resources exist to help patients and their parents. We hope the information provided on this website is of help to you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.