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Clubfoot Program

The Clubfoot Program at Children's Hospital Colorado is comprised of experts that effectively treat clubfoot patients using the Ponseti Method from birth to teenage years. Our team works together to assure each patient received the appropriate attention and treatment needed for proper correction of the deformity. Our providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado are "Ponseti 'no surgery for clubfeet' trained," and no surgery is our goal.

Why Choose Children's Hospital Colorado for Clubfoot Treatment?

Clubfoot is not uncommon, but is known to cause increased stress and anxiety for the expecting parents. Our Prenatal consultations are designed to educate, inform and prepare parents for the treatment plan that will be started once their baby has arrived. We also hope it will help to decrease some of the anxiety related to Clubfoot. If treatment is not done correctly and in sequence, other deformities of the foot may occur. Successful treatment of clubfoot requires a patient and an experienced orthopedic team, like our experts at the Orthopedics Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The Clubfoot Program at Children's Hospital Colorado evaluates and treats patients, from newborn through teenagers, diagnosed with clubfoot.

Our Clubfoot Program provides:

  • A designated clubfoot clinic with multidisciplinary care
  • Multiple providers at all Satellite locations for family convenience
  • Prenatal consultations for the expectant mother and her family

What is Clubfoot?

Clubfoot (also known as talipes equinovarus) is a deformity of the foot present at birth and can involve one or both feet. It is the most common congenital pediatric orthopedic problem, and occurs in about 6/1000 live births. A child with clubfoot has an abnormally positioned foot that causes the child to turn their ankle inward and walk on the toe and outside edge of the foot. Most of the time, the diagnosis is made on a prenatal ultrasound.

There are 3 different types of clubfeet:

  • Idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown
  • Syndromic, which is usually associated with a condition that involves another part of the body
  • Neurogenic, which is usually a result of a spinal cord abnormality

How is Clubfoot treated?

Most clubfoot deformities can be corrected with castings, bracing, and little or no surgery. We follow the "Ponseti" method which is the standard treatment. We like to initiate treatment soon after the baby is born.

It is preferred that treatment starts when the baby is a newborn because their feet can bend and stretch more easily, however treatment can be effective on older children as well. The providers at Children's Hospital Colorado apply a series of casts on a weekly basis to slowly correct the deformities. This casting allows us to gradually stretch the foot into a more correct position. Most of the deformity can be corrected with four to seven casts; more complex patients may require more casting.

Bracing is required to maintain the correction after casting. The brace includes special shoes for both feet, even if there is only one foot affected, that help to maintain the feet in the correct position. Initially the brace is worn full-time, eventually progressing to just nights and nap times. Bracing can be required for up to 5 years of age. During bracing parents will be instructed with specific stretching exercises that should be performed daily.