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Clubfoot Affects Males More Than Females

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 00:00

One of the more common congenital foot conditions is known as clubfoot. It develops while the baby is in utero and cannot be treated until birth. The tendons that connect the heels to the leg muscles are too short, and this may result in clubfoot. Research has indicated it affects males more than females, and it can be seen in approximately one out of 1,000 births in the United States. It is beneficial that treatment begins early in the baby’s life, preferably within two weeks of birth. The type of treatment can range from using manual manipulation that may help to move the feet into a normal position, to possibly having surgery performed. In many cases, the child can begin regular sports activities when of age after the preferred method of treatment. Common signs of clubfoot include the foot turning in and downward, with the toes pointing toward the opposite foot. Additionally, the affected foot, heel, and calf muscles may be smaller than the other foot, but the foot may straighten out as the healing process occurs. If you would like more information about clubfoot, please confer with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have and address your concerns.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Corinne R. Kauderer, DPM of Dyker Heights Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brooklyn, NY and Old Bridge, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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