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A clubfoot is a disability of the foot which are existing at birth. It occurs in approximately one per 1000 live births which makes it a fairly common problem. When a baby arrives the midwife or doctor is going to examine them for several different disorders as part of the screening routine. A clubfoot is one of those conditions that they regularly check for. A clubfoot is described as when the foot is in a downward and inward position as compared with normal. This is technically referred to as planterflexed, inverted and abducted placement of the foot. In the grand scheme of things a clubfoot is normally fairly minor condition but still can be very upsetting at the birth since it is obvious. Usually, it is an isolated problem, but occasionally it is part of a range of symptoms making up a syndrome. Those with this deformity may also be very likely to have a dislocated hip at birth.

The treatment of a clubfoot is dependent upon the severity and characteristics of it. There are fundamentally two types of this deformity; flexible and rigid. A flexible clubfoot is normally managed with regular mobilization, manipulation and stretching out and then the foot is placed in a plaster cast to hold it in a more corrected position. After a period of time, that will rely on how severe it is, the plaster cast is removed and the foot is yet again mobilized and stretched with a new plaster cast being applied after that to hold the foot in an much more corrected position. This approach has been well researched to be typically very effective. If this treatment is not successful or if the deformity is inflexible then a surgical technique is needed. Technically this can be a difficult surgery as the foot and structures are extremely small. There are so many structures from the bone, to the tendons, to the ligaments that has got to be operated on to move the foot in to a more corrected position, making it complicated.

How is a clubfoot managed in a child?
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