Clubfoot is a condition that some children are born with. It is characterized by several different deformities including varus of the hindfoot, equinus, and adduction of the midfoot and forefoot. It can cause long-term pain and deformity and problems with walking, so the sooner it is treated, the better.
In children, the Ponseti method has become much more universal in treatment for this condition, especially in the United States. This involves placing serial casts shortly after birth that are changed weekly, and they are used to try to cast out the deformity and straighten the foot. Sometimes, if the equinus deformity is too severe, an Achilles tendon lengthening may be necessary to allow the casting technique to work correctly.
One problem with surgical procedures or casting in young children is that it is possible to either over correct the foot or under correct the foot. If the foot is overcorrected, children develop a flat foot type deformity that can cause other problems more long-term.
When we see adults who have had a clubfoot as a child, even when it is corrected pretty well, they still typically will end up developing arthritis through some of the joints in the hindfoot. As adults get older, sometimes arthrodesis or fusion of these joints is necessary to try to decrease pain and also straighten the foot further if it has been overcorrected or undercorrected.
Some procedures, such as an Evans calcaneal osteotomy, have been specifically designed to treat overcorrected clubfeet. This has now become a common procedure we use to help correct a flat foot deformity even in people who have not had a clubfoot in the past.
If you have any foot and ankle pain or problems, call your expert Colorado Springs podiatrists today at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado. All of our podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons are expertly trained to take care of your whole family!