Clubfoot is a term used to describe several foot abnormalities present at the time of birth which includes foot being twisted out of shape.
This disorder is very common and it makes walking harder. In clubfoot, the tissues which link muscles to bones are shorter. However, clubfoot can be treated effectively with surgery or without surgery.
- Top of foot is twisted, turning the heel inward.
- In some cases, the twist is so severe that it appears as if upside down.
- Underdevelopment of calf muscles.
- The affected foot is 1/2 inch shorter than other foot.
When to see a doctor?
In almost all cases, clubfoot is noticed soon after the birth of the baby. Hence, your doctor can recommend a bone or muscle specialist for the treatment.
Causes of Clubfoot
Till date, the causes of clubfoot are unknown. However, it is believed that clubfoot is caused due to factors such as environment and genetics.
Some of the key risk factors causing clubfoot are-
- History of clubfoot in the family- If either of the parents has clubfoot then the children have greater chances of having it.
- Congenital conditions- In some cases, abnormalities of the skeleton which are present at birth lead to clubfoot. For example, spina bifida which is caused due to not closing of the tissue surrounding the development of the spinal cord of the fetus.
- Lack of amniotic fluid during pregnancy- It is seen that lack of ammonitic fluid increases the chances of causing clubfoot.
- Environment- Activities such as smoking, consuming recreational drugs and having an infection during pregnancy increase the chances of clubfoot.
The effects of clubfoot are seen only when your child learns to stand or starts walking. As the foot isn’t in normal condition, the child faces enormous difficulties while walking and even while standing.
But with proper treatment, clubfoot can be treated and after the treatment, your child can walk effectively. In numerous cases, the child leads a normal life except for certain difficulties such as-
- Movement: Some children might experience limited mobility.
- Calf size: The side affected by clubfoot features muscles of a smaller size when compared with the other side. This size difference stays forever.
- Shoe size: Like muscle size, the size of foot of the affected side is also smaller than the other side. Generally, the difference is about 1 1/2 shoe sizes.
All these difficulties are of a small nature and have little impact on your child’s life. However, if clubfoot is not treated, it is bound to cause complications of various degrees.
Some of the major problems caused by clubfoot are:
- Inability to walk normally
The biggest and the most obvious consequence of clubfoot is the inability in walking normally. In numerous cases, the child is unable to walk in the first place. And if the children walk then they have problems in walking normally and in balancing their legs.
- Blow to self-image
Almost all children facing clubfoot have a low self-image.
The inability to walk and perform normal activities and the unusual appearance of the foot makes children consider themselves inferior.
- Waking adjustments causing problems
Children with clubfoot need walking adjustments which allow them to walk properly. But these adjustments cause other issues such as hindrance in the growth of calf muscles, large sores and calluses on the foot and an awkward gait.
If your child is having clubfoot then chances of arthritis are huge.
How To Prevent Clubfoot?
As discussed earlier, the causes of clubfoot are still unknown. Hence, unfortunately, there is no standard procedure available to prevent clubfoot.
But you can always take general precautions during pregnancy to keep birth complications and defects at bay. Doctors recommend following these things to ensure a safe pregnancy-
- Staying away from smoking and from areas where smoking is done
- Not consuming any drugs without prior approval from the doctor
- Not consuming alcohol
If you are searching for clubfoot treatment specialist in India, contact Dr. Soumya Paik, MBBS (KOL)(HONS), MS.Ortho (SSKM), DNB (Ortho) MNAMS, Gold Medalist for a consultation today.
Dr. Soumya Paik
Phone No. :
for Appointment: +91 9051148463
for Emergency: +91 9330026550
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