Club Foot: Who's at Risk

Has one of your family members had a clubfoot? Are you wondering how this abnormality occurs in the first place? Clubfoot is a common foot abnormality that usually occurs at birth. Although common, there are many questions that most people have about the deformity. Clubfoot occurs when a baby’s foot is twisted out of position or shape, which refers to the term “clubfoot” as the abnormal foot resembles the head of a golf club. Although treatment can successfully cure the foot condition, knowing if your baby is at risk for the abnormality can keep you informed and aware of all the possible causes that are associated to the health of your baby’s feet.

The specific cause of clubfoot is unknown, but doctors and scientists do know that it isn’t created by the positioning of the fetus inside the uterus. What is known, however, is the link that exists between these risks listed below and the occurrence of clubfoot:

  • Congenital abnormalities of the baby’s skeleton such as spina bifida, which occurs when the tissue surrounding the spinal cord of the fetus doesn’t close properly.
  • Family background. If your family has a history of babies being born with clubfoot, the chances of your child having it are increased.
  • Environmental factors can increase the risk for the condition as well when it comes to the health of the fetus’ mother. Smoking during pregnancy is a huge risk factor that is greatly increased even more so if there is a history of clubfoot in the family.
  • Sex of the baby. It is a known fact that males are more prone to develop the foot abnormality than females.

Since the reason for why clubfoot isn’t determined, there are not specific ways in which you can prevent it from affecting your child’s feet. However, avoiding smoking and alcoholic beverages while pregnant can decrease the risk for multiple birth defects to occur, including clubfoot.

If you have further questions about clubfoot, or ways of treatment, contact our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger today.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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