Congenital clubfoot and methods of its treatment

Clubfoot is a congenital pathology of the bones and soft tissues of the baby's feet, which develops in utero. This pathology can be detected by ultrasound of the expectant mother, at a period of 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. Congenital clubfoot is successfully treated immediately after the baby’s birth, otherwise, it can lead to physical disability. What are the methods of its treatment? Keep on reading and find it out!
Treatment of congenital foot pathology is performed at younger preschool age. Clubfoot in children of 6-7 years old is more difficult to treat. At an older age, bones become harder, and an optimal level of physical activity is required for proper skeletal development.
The orthopedist can treat a mild form of the disease immediately after birth by methods of conservative therapy:
- therapeutic exercise followed by fixing the feet with bandages;
- use of a bandage or plaster;
- use of specialized shoes that fix the foot in the desired position;
- massage;
- physiotherapy (use of mud, paraffin, magnetotherapy, laser treatment).
In 90% of cases, the treatment of the abnormal limb positioning is performed using the Ponseti method in 3 stages:
- Adjustment of a plaster cast. It fixes the feet in the desired position. The course of treatment involves 5-6 adjustments.
- Achillotomy. The surgeon dissects the Achille’s tendons, thereby contributing to their lengthening.
- Wearing braces (special shoes) to maintain the result of the correction.
Surgical methods are used in severe cases when conservative therapy doesn’t help. The surgery is performed on the ligaments and muscles, correcting their position and length. During the rehabilitation period, physiotherapy, medication, and plaster dressings are prescribed. In 90% of cases, surgery completely corrects the position of the feet. Subsequently, the child can lead an active life without any restrictions.