It is a physical deformity that causes abnormal positioning of the foot. It is also known by its medical term ‘Talipes Equinovarus’. In this condition the child’s foot develops to grow in an abnormal position. It can affect one or both feet. Clubfoot causes the sole of the foot to turn inwards. More severe cases display complete sideway facing soles. In rare cases the soles might also turn upwards depending upon the severity of the disorder. Clubfoot causes tendons connecting leg muscles with the foot to tighten & get rigid which in turn makes foot to twist in an unnatural position.
Symptoms of Pediatric Clubfoot
Symptoms of pediatric clubfoot include –
- Smaller than normal foot or heel
- Front part of the foot points downwards
- Front of the foot might point in an abnormal direction
- Thinner calves due to under-developed muscles
What are Causes of Clubfoot?
Clubfoot is caused by –
- Genetics – If a person in the family suffers from Clubfoot then there are more chances of an infant getting this disorder.
- Postural Clubfoot – Clubfoot may also develop due to unnatural positioning of the child in the mother’s womb.
Types of Clubfoot
Talipes Equinovarus (Clubfoot) is broadly classified into two major types –
- Isolated (Idiopathic) Clubfoot – This is the more common type of clubfoot. It is found in children with no other related medical condition.
- Non Isolated Clubfoot – It is a more rare type of Clubfoot. This type is mostly found in children with certain medical conditions such as neuromuscular disorder & spina bifida.
How is Clubfoot Treated?
The doctor will diagnose the severity of the disorder & suggest a non-surgical treatment, such as –
- Ponseti Method – In this treatment method the doctor uses gentle stretching exercises with casting to correct the deformity. It uses physiotherapy along with splinting & positioning the affected foot into a normal position.
- Achilles Tenotomy – After the casting procedure is complete most children require a small procedure called a tenotomy. In this the doctor makes a minor incision in the heel tendon so as to make it lose rigidity. This is again put in a cast until the tendon heals & becomes longer in length.
- Bracing – Even after the Achilles Tenotomy there is a natural chance of clubfoot recurring in the baby. To avoid this deformity from recurring doctors use a special ‘boots & bar’ brace which ensures that the child’s feet are permanently in the natural position for a few months after surgery.
In cases where there is recurrence of corrected clubfoot or in more severe cases where non-surgical methods of treatment have failed, surgical methods are suggested.
They are –
- Less Extensive Surgery – In this type of surgery only the tendons & joints that are directly causing the deformity are targeted. Some cases may require moving the tendon from the front part of the heel to the mid-foot in order to release the tension in the tendon.
- Major Reconstructive Surgery – This reconstructive surgery is required if a larger number of rigid tissues are found connecting the ankle to the foot.
Treatment for clubfoot should be started at the earliest possible chance. As the tendons & muscles of a new born baby are mostly cartilage they are at a more pliable stage. As the child grown these tendons & muscles start hardening & thereby makes it more difficult to correct the deformity.
Why Choose India for Clubfoot Treatment & Surgery?
Clubfoot requires earliest possible treatment for the procedure to be successful. Along with the procedure, doctors advise physiotherapy after treatment. This complete treatment at times may run into months. In India this treatment & surgical procedures for correcting pediatric clubfoot is very cost effective & normally affordable. Besides being cost effective treatment & surgery for Clubfoot, India has high success rates as well. There is an extensive network of hospitals & clinics in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Goa, Kerala & Pune which ensure that your stay in India is hassle free & well organized.