Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (or CTEV or Clubfoot) is the most common congenital deformity affecting one in 1000 live births across the globe. “Clubfoot” is three times as likely to occur in boys than it does girls. Talipes can occur in one foot, called unilateral talipes or both feet, called bilateral talipes.
Congential – a deformity which is present at birth.
Talipes – refers to the ankle and foot.
Equinovarus – pointing inwards and downwards.
What Is It Exactly And How Will It Affect My Baby?
The good news is, Clubfoot is easily treated and does not cause your baby any pain. It doesn’t even require major surgery. The feet of a baby with clubfoot will appear to turn inwards, often seem as if the top of the foot is where the bottom should be. If left untreated, a child with clubfoot would walk on the sides of the feet.
How Is It Treated?
Traditionally club foot has been treated by physiotherapy, major surgery and wearing a brace for the first year of the child’s life. Ask those people now whether the surgery was successful and you will probably find that their feet are stiff and often painful – sometimes requiring multiple surgeries to “fix” the feet. Thankfully, around 50 years ago a doctor from Spain, Dr Ignatio Ponseti came up with a hugely successful way to gently treat clubfoot that involved no major surgery and no pain for your baby. The Ponseti Method corrects your baby’s clubfeet by applying a series of casts to manipulate the feet into their correct position, and then the wearing of special boots, connected by a bar to keep the feet in their corrected position and avoid relapse. This brace is worn for 4 years. While the two methods may seem similar, one has only a 50% chance of correcting your baby’s clubfeet, where the Ponseti Method has a greater than 95% chance of correcting the affected feet with no major surgery. With the Ponseti Method, your baby will in no time be walking, running, jumping and climbing with all the other children in the playground.
Will My Baby Walk Normally?
Yes, absolutely and with out a doubt, your baby will walk just as normal as the next. Worrying about the long term affects of this condition on your child is perfectly normal, but from one parent to another, we can assure you, in an otherwise happy and healthy child, club feet won’t slow them down one bit!
Thank you to STEPS for assistance with the above information on Clubfoot and the Ponseti Method.