All About Clubfoot.
Clubfoot is one of the most common birth defects and can cause serious disabilities for those born with it. The foot can be turned severely inward so that, if untreated, a child will start to walk on their ankles, or in some cases, on the tops of their feet.
For over a century or more treatments for clubfoot consisted of small casts or EFO boots and radical surgery to the bones and tendons of the foot. This treatment was done without fully understanding how the bones, tendons, and muscles of the foot grow and develop over the years. People who are given this type of treatment are left with feet that appear straight, but typically develop arthritis and have difficulties in walking as early as age 20.
However, in the past fifty years a new treatment has emerged for Clubfoot that typically avoids any surgery and instead corrects the foot with manipulation, casts, and a brace bar. It’s known as the Ponseti Method of treating clubfoot, and it’s proven to be highly effective with an over 85 percent success rate.
Our guest for this episode is Dr. Michael David, who is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Specialists of West Michigan. Dr. David is certified in the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment. He talks about how Dr. Ignacio Ponseti developed his non-surgical treatment for clubfoot and how the treatment works. He also talks about the training a physician goes through to become certified in the Ponseti Method of Clubfoot treatment, and what parents should know when looking for a physician who is certified in the Ponseti Method.
Links mentioned in this episode:
To The Parents of a Child Born With Clubfoot – Article from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital written by Dr. Ponseti explaining his treatment methods.
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