Did You Know There Is Help?

Did you know that club foot deformity affects roughly 150,000-200,000 children each year? It is estimated that nearly 80% are in developing countries.  Club foot can be limited to one foot or in most cases bilateral like mine. Club foot is a deformity that develops during pregnancy.  Club foot is an abnormal development of the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet. If untreated children with club feet are forced to walk on their ankles which can result in severe pain. 

Children that do not have their feet corrected will never walk properly or run.  In America children born with club feet are treated immediately. In most cases parents choose the Ponseti method for correction rather than traditional surgery.  Traditional surgery according to the Ponseti International website suggests that “Extensive surgery does not "cure" clubfoot. It improves the appearance of the foot but diminishes the strength of the muscles in the foot and leg and causes stiffness in the second and third decade of life (if not earlier). This limits the motions of the foot joints, and the foot becomes often painful at midlife. Extensive surgery does not prevent the recurrence of the deformity in a number of cases. To our knowledge no follow-up studies of operated patients older than 16 years of age have been published to date. Therefore, orthopedic surgeons are ignorant of the results of their surgeries.” I had traditional surgery and I identify with the above conclusion that although my feet “look” normal I struggle daily with severe pain.
The Ponseti method is an alternative to surgery. The Ponseti method uses a series of casting and bracing to correct the deformity. In the United States there is a 98% success rate.
I included some resources from several organizations that specialize in the Ponseti method. These organizations offer support and raise money to help children in developing countries. Here in the United States these organizations also offer emotional support for parents dealing with a child born with club feet.

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