The medical team at Medical City Children’s Orthopedics & Spine Specialists has expertise in complex surgeries like clubfeet. The hospital often calls to consult one of our physicians while babies are still in utero, so if we need to operate, we can schedule and start treatment on babies as young as two days old.
For clubfeet, it’s best to start treatment as early as possible.
Parents of infants born with clubfeet or flatfeet may be reassured that with the proper expert care, their baby will have normal-looking feet with normal function for all practical purposes. The well-treated clubfoot is no handicap and is fully compatible with a normal, active life. Flat feet only need treatment if they cause discomfort, indicate an underlying disorder, or lead to pain elsewhere in the body. Some people appear to have a very low arch or no arch without ever experiencing problems. When flat feet do cause symptoms, simple devices and exercises can help to minimize the discomfort. For clubfeet, it’s best to start treatment as early as possible for good outcomes.
At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians advise getting treatment soon after the child is born. We work closely with the hospital staff at Medical City, so we know in advance when a baby in utero has a clubfoot and anticipate working on the baby once he or she is born. We treat babies with clubfeet as young as a couple of days old. This is an advantage of being part of a hospital that specializes in treating expectant mothers and children of all ages.
The first step is to put the baby in a cast.
“We use fiberglass for casting rather than plaster. Soft fiberglass is tolerated much better with less skin irritation and is easier to remove than a plaster cast. Additionally, waterproof fiberglass casts make it easier for busy parents to wash and clean their babies. Braces need to be switched into once casting is complete.” Shyam Kishan, MD
In 90 percent of cases, the Achilles tendon is cut as an office procedure to complete the correction of the foot. By the time the cast is removed, the tendon will have regenerated to a proper length. Since this procedure can generally be taken care of in the office, busy parents can easily schedule time with us and experience little to no wait times. Surgeons with limited experience in the treatment of clubfoot should not attempt to correct the deformity. They may succeed in correcting mild clubfeet, but severe cases require experienced hands.