Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Monday, December 31, 2007


Clubfoot is a congenital birth defect that affects the alignment of the foot. Newborns with clubfoot have feet that point down and inwards. If the condition is severe, the infant’s feet are rigidly stuck in the misaligned position. Clubfoot is more prevalent among males and those with a family history of the disorder. It may be a symptom of another disorder such as spina bifida. Clubfoot is not the result of behavior or nutrition of the mother during pregnancy.

The physiological cause of the deformity is that some of the tendons of the foot are too short. This restricts the range of movement and keeps the foot in an unnatural position. Milder foot problems that are common in newborns are often misidentified as clubfoot. The treatment for clubfoot is called the Ponseti method. This treatment begins soon after birth.

The Ponseti method involves repeatedly putting casts on the feet the force the stretching of the tendons and realignment of the feet. The casts are changed every week. Each time the feet are put into casts, it brings the foot into more natural alignment. After the series of casts, the child will need to wear braces during the night, usually until the child is two years old. The Ponseti method is sufficient to correct clubfoot in about half of the cases.

If the Ponseti method fails to correct the condition, surgical intervention may be required. Surgical correction of clubfoot involves the release or loosening of the Achilles tendon. This allows the foot to assume its natural position. If left untreated, clubfoot will cause the child to develop an abnormal gait. Someone with uncorrected clubfoot will walk on the outsides of their feet. This can adversely affect the joints and cause other foot problems including skin problems on the surface of the foot on which the person walks.


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