Podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide variety of footrelated concerns that affect everything from the heels to the toes. One relatively rare yet concerning issue that a foot doctor can fix is clubfoot—it’s a condition that usually affects children. If you have concerns about the shape and function of your child’s feet, learn more about clubfoot, its causes and how it can be successfully treated by a podiatrist.
What Is Club Foot?
Club foot is a condition that causes the feet to look deformed. It is an issue that usually develops at birth and continues to develop through childhood. The foot looks twisted to the point where the child cannot walk properly or even place his foot down on the ground normally. In extreme cases, where the foot is almost upside down, the child can’t walk at all. If it goes untreated, it can cause problems in the calves and legs, so this is a problem that must be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
What Causes Club Foot?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes clubfoot, but there is a theory that it may develop in the womb. The way that the baby is positioned in the mother’s womb could cause unnatural pressure on the stilldeveloping child’s skeletal system. Children who are diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders are also more prone to this foot problem. Some doctors also believe that club foot runs in the family, or it can be caused by smoking or doing drugs during pregnancy.
Cures for Club Foot
Podiatrists can successfully correct most cases of club foot in children—the earlier that it’s addressed by a doctor, the better. The standard procedure to fix this condition is called the Ponseti treatment method. The podiatrist stretches the child’s feet to the proper position and then puts it in a secure cast. Regular appointments are necessary to readjust the position of the feet and monitor progress until they are properly aligned. Other solutions include taping the feet, and in advanced cases surgery may be needed.
Your child can be cured of club foot and have healthy, normally aligned feet. It’s important to see a podiatrist for a consultation as soon as the issue is noticed for the best results.