How to Prevent the Complications of Clubfoot


The condition known as clubfoot is a very common inherited abnormality that typically exhibits symptoms in approximately one out of a thousand newborn children. The main indication of clubfoot is an inward rotation of the ankles causing the bottoms of the feet to face each other, although it can also affect just one of the feet. Early identification and treatment of clubfoot is essential to avoiding major ambulatory complications as the child gets older.

Clubfoot is identified as either “isolated”, or “non-isolated”. When no additional health conditions accompany the diagnosis of clubfoot, it is considered to be an isolated case.  A diagnosis of non-isolated clubfoot means that the condition is occurring in conjunction with other health issues, such as a neuromuscular disorder.

Treat clubfoot early to prevent future complications

The Ponseti method is the first line of defense for treating early-stage clubfoot since a child’s bones and tissues are still very flexible and respond well to a combination of manual manipulation, stretching exercises, and casting. The goal is to gradually redirect the growth of the affected foot so that the correct positioning is achieved. This process occurs over a period of several months or longer. Once the casting phase is completed, your foot doctor will usually need to relieve any built-up pressure on the heel cord with a small incision. Braces may then be needed for a short period of time to help prevent the condition from coming back.

Severe clubfoot cases that may not have been caught early enough or that do not respond well to the Ponseti method may require surgery to correct. Surgical adjustments will need to be made to the bones, ligaments and tendons to achieve the proper alignment.

If your child is showing signs of clubfoot, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!