Clubfoot is a common birth defect that is present in newborns. The name comes from the appearance of the feet, as they are usually turned in and positioned at an angle that resembles the head of a golf club. The tissues that connect the muscles to the bones in the foot are shorter than usual and result in this twisted position.
The cause of clubfoot is unknown, although some studies have linked the condition to family history and smoking during pregnancy. This condition occurs in approximately one in every 1000 births and ranges in severity. It can affect one or both feet. When one foot is affected, the leg, calf and foot are usually shorter and smaller than the other side. This foot problem is not painful and typically does not cause any problems until a few years later when the child starts to stand and walk.
A child’s mobility may be slightly hindered, but since this deformity is noticeable at birth, treatment usually begins within a couple of weeks. Treatment may involve stretching, casting, taping or surgery, and with the level of care provided today most children have very successful outcomes. If you have further questions regarding this condition or have growing concerns about the complications, contact the Palm Desert office of Dr. Harvey Danciger. Call us today at (760) 568-0108.