Learning that a child has deformed feet can be difficult for parents, but they can be reassured that the condition is fully correctable with proper treatment.
Clubfoot is a deformity in which one or both feet at birth are positioned in an inwards or downward position at the ankle.
It occurs in one in 1,000 births and about 50 per cent of cases occurs in both feet. It is more common in boys than in girls.
The key to treating the condition and for the best results is to treat it as early as possible – right after birth. If left untreated, the deformity can become severe and impossible to correct without the need for surgery.
The process of treating a baby with clubfoot involves manipulation and stretching of the baby’s foot by an orthopaedic specialist on a weekly basis and placing the leg in a serial plaster cast for a period of four to six weeks until the treatment progresses, and the foot is in the correct position.
A heel cord lengthening is then performed through a very small incision, after which the leg is placed into a cast for three weeks for it to align itself into a proper position.
The child is then required to wear a brace, which is an important step in preventing reoccurrence of the deformity.
In most babies, clubfoot may be corrected within the first two to three months of birth.
Congenital foot deformities may be associated with other kinds of congenital deformities such as congenital hip disorders or spinal deformities, and so, proper screening by an orthopaedic surgeon is necessary.
Parents have an important role to play in the treatment of clubfoot, and continuous effort is needed from parents. If the brace is not worn consistently, clubfoot may return.
Children will require a follow up with their orthopaedic surgeon for a few years to ensure that clubfoot does not recur.
With regular and consistent care, the child will be able to play and run as a normal child would.
Clubfoot is treated at Royal Bahrain Hospital (RBH) by Dr Suhail Abdulgafoor, who is a specialist in orthopaedics.
Dr Abdulgafoor has over 16 years of experience, and he specialises in total knee replacement, operative and closed treatment of all fractures, treating fractures in children, Ponseti method for treatment of clubfoot, treatment of sports, tendon and soft tissue disorders, paediatric deformity correction, PRP and local steroid injections as well as back, knee and hip pain treatment.
He is also a gold medallist from Medical College, Trivandrum, India.
To book your appointment, call 17246800, Whatsapp 32181810 or book online at www.royalbahrainhospital.com.
You can also book through the Royal Bahrain Hospital mobile app available now on iOS and Android devices.