Saturday, March 22 2003
Clubfoot is when the foot turns inward and downward. It is a congenital condition, which means it is present at birth.Clubfoot is the most common congenital disorder of the legs. It can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid. The cause is not known, but the condition may be passed down through families in some cases. Risk factors include a family history of the disorder and being male. The condition occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 live births.
The physical appearance of the foot may vary. One or both feet may be affected. The foot turns inward and downward at birth, and is difficult to place in the correct position. The calf muscle and foot may be slightly smaller than normal.The disorder is identified during a physical examination. A foot x-ray may be done.
Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. This is often done by an orthopedic specialist. Treatment should be started as early as possible -- ideally, shortly after birth -- when reshaping the foot is easiest.
Gentle stretching and recasting occurs every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast remains in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, a special brace is worn nearly full time for 3 months. Then it is used at night and during naps for up to 3 years.
Often, a simple outpatient procedure is needed to release a tightened Achilles tendon.Some severe cases of clubfoot will require surgery if other treatments do not work, or if the problem returns. The child should be monitored by a doctor until the foot is fully grown
Recent university studies have found that some women who took antidepressants or SSRIs throughout their pregnancy had children born with club feet. True Clubfoot is a malformation. The bones, joints, muscles, and blood vessels of the limb are abnormal. An infant with club foot has a foot that is inturned, stiff and cannot be brought to a normal position
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