Congenital clubfoot and risk factors

Pes equinovarus, which is seen in every 1,000 births, is more common in boys than girls. In this disease, which worries families, the cure rate is quite high if treatment is started early.

Pes equinovarus is when the sole of the foot is turned towards the leg. The baby is also known as congenital clubfoot. Although the cause is not known exactly, familial factors and the position of the baby in the womb have an effect. Although it is rarely seen together with other congenital anomalies, it is usually a solitary disease. The fact that babies’ feet are turned inwards and the soles of their feet are facing upwards worries new parents. However, it is possible to correct the feet with very simple applications.

When seen together with other congenital anomalies, the treatment process differs. Early diagnosis and treatment are of great importance in congenital clubfoot disease in solitary cases. In case of delay in treatment, the disease may cause permanent disability or long surgical procedures.

Can Be Noticed During Pregnancy

The first diagnosis of the disease can be made by a gynecologist and obstetrician during pregnancy. In cases where it cannot be noticed during pregnancy, the diagnosis is easy because the disease is evident.

It can be corrected only with massage, plaster or with the small interventions of the experts, as well as cases that require serious surgery.

Gold standard in treatment: Ponseti Method

In the treatment of the disease, it is of great importance to start a weekly cast after birth. This plaster treatment is called the Ponseti Method. Dr. Ponseti developed this method, which bears his name, and saved children suffering from the disease from long surgical processes.

The pediatric orthopedist who performs the treatment in this casting method applies casts that change every week according to the Ponseti technique to the child’s foot. It provides gradual improvement by changing the plaster position at one week intervals. This process continues until the child’s foot is fully recovered.

Generally, a 4-week plaster application is sufficient for the foot to fully recover. However, the necessary improvement is achieved with a maximum of 8 weeks of application. After the casting treatment is finished, the child is dressed with a device called Orthosis, which he will use for 23 hours for 3 months, resembling a shoe, and which can be described as slightly larger than him. Afterwards, the device should continue to be used until the age of 4, provided that it is only at night.

Pes equinovarus may recur!

One of the most important complications of congenital clubfoot is the recurrence feature. After the successful completion of the casting treatment, the families may have difficulties during the use of the device. In this process, the disease can be seen again. If the disease recurs before the age of 2, plastering is done again with the Ponseti Method. In case of recurrence after 2 years of age, solutions up to surgery may be required. As the age progresses, the degree of difficulty of the surgery also increases. At this point, the cooperation of families is of great importance. It is beneficial for children with pes equinovarus to be followed regularly by pediatric orthopedists until their bone development is completed. After these children recover, they can continue their lives normally and do sports. There are also people who had this disease in their childhood and later became national athletes.

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