Clubfoot Treatment Options, Ponseti Method, Clubfoot Surgery, Phoenix, Arizona
Frequently asked questions about clubfoot
- What is clubfoot? See the video on clubfoot.
- What is the prevalence of clubfoot?
- What does clubfoot look like? See photos of clubfoot.
- Is clubfoot hereditary, or how do you get it?
- What are treatment options and the Ponseti Method?
- Why should my baby be treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital?
- What is the outcome for clubfoot?
- What follow-up care is needed?
Clubfoot is a common congenital deformity that affects one or both feet. Babies who are born with clubfoot have the bottom of one foot or both feet pointing inward toward the opposite leg. Doctors can often see that a baby has clubfoot before birth with the help of an ultrasound. Clubfoot does not get better on its own.
- Clubfoot is present in one in every 1,000 births.
- In 50 percent of those births, both feet are affected.
- Clubfoot is more common in boys than girls.
- Clubfoot happens more frequently in children with certain chromosomal or neurologic conditions.
- Clubfoot is rarely an indicator of other bone and joint conditions.
(Click any photo to enlarge)
Clubfoot is a problem that is most commonly passed on from parents to their children (genetic). If parents have had one child with clubfoot, the chances of them having another child with clubfoot is one in four.
Thanks to a treatment developed in the 1950s by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti of the University of Iowa, clubfoot can often be treated with little or no surgery.
The "Ponseti Method" is a pain-free procedure that involves stretching back into proper position. The affected foot is then held in place using a plaster cast that extends from the foot to above the knee. Over the course of about two months, the foot is gradually stretched and casted into a normal position. This method is most successful when started five to seven days after the child is born. After casting, babies will wear a brace for three months. Over the next three to four years, children will wear the brace at night and during naps.
Lee S. Segal, MD, Herbert J. Louis, MD Endowed Chair of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, and chief, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics, is the Valley's only pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who is certified in the "Ponseti Method."
He has successfully treated over 100 children born with clubfeet and is an expert in the minimally invasive surgeries sometimes required for follow-up treatment. In addition to his work in the clinic, Dr. Segal often lectures on the "Ponseti Method" and a variety of other pediatric orthopaedic topics.
Babies born with clubfeet most often have great results with treatment. Children treated with the "Ponseti Method" can expect to have full and normal use of the affected foot or feet.
After the initial casting and bracing little follow-up care is needed. It is important that parents use the braces provided in the months and years after casting. About 20 percent to 30 percent of children who have been treated by the "Ponseti Method" will require a minor operation to adjust the foot and ankle tendons at about 3 years of age.
For more information on the treatment of clubfoot, please call the Center for Pediatric Orthopaedics at (602) 933-3033.