Club foot is a congenital foot deformity that occurs in approximately one of every 1,000 birth. A child with club foot has one or both feet that turn inward and point down. Club foot develops while a baby is still in the mother’s womb. The exact cause of club foot is unknown.
Club foot is more common in boys than girls. Many infants born with club foot have relatives with the condition. Treatment for club foot should start very quickly after the child is born; at this time tissues are pliable and bones are not fully formed so with manipulation the deformity can be corrected and preclude the need for invasive surgery.
The Ponseti casting technique is recognized as the best treatment for club foot. The technique was indentified and perfected by Ignacia V. Ponseti, of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the 1950's. The technique has since been adopted as the standard treatment for clubfoot throughout the world.
In the early 1990's Dr. Paul Dayton of Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa had the opportunity to go to the University Hospital and Clinics and train in the method with Dr. Ponseti. Dr. Paul Dayton and Dr. Mindi Dayton both treat pediatric patients and perform casting for clubfoot, as well as metatarsus adductus in their clinic.
If clubfoot is not identified and appropriately treated with casting early in the life of the child it can lead to long standing and severe deformity that makes walking very difficult and may require extensive invasive surgery to correct later in life.
Learn more about club foot treatment with the Ponseti technique by listening to this ACFAS podcast.