What is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a deformity present at birth that twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected using a relatively inexpensive treatment process called the Ponseti method.
Servetogether Foundation has collaborated with following health centres in Karnataka State and has setup WEEKLY CLUBFOOT CLINICS to provide FREE TREATMENT to clubfoot children. Gradually this service will be expanded to all districts of Karnataka.
We pair quality clubfoot treatment with compassionate care from counselors (called parent advisors), all while empowering local healthcare workers and educating parents and caregivers.
- Clubfoot medically known as 'CTEV' is one of the most common birth deformities prevalent among new born infants. It is estimated that nearly 35,000 clubfoot cases are added every year to the population of India, with the incidence of 1 clubfoot in every 500 live birth. A clubfoot appears to be twisted inwards and downwards.
- STF has a developed a program that ensures quality clubfoot care to the poorest of the poor in the remotest villages of the country. STF has the vision to establish specialized FREE clubfoot clinics in every district of the country so that every child has access to this treatment.
- Clubfoot can be cured by a non-surgical method called the Ponseti Method using a series of plaster casts and application of foot abduction brace. Treatment of clubfoot is possible only during childhood, and an untreated clubfoot results in lifelong disability.
- Clubfoot can occur in either one(unilateral) or both feet(bilateral). Bilateral cases of clubfoot account for around 50% of cases. It is almost twice as common in males as in females.
- The exact causes of clubfoot are still not known. Scientific studies have found that familial inheritance, genetics and environment are all likely to be factors that cause clubfoot.
- This method is named after Dr. Ignacio Ponseti. The treatment is carried out in two phases. The first is the manipulation phase where the child's feet is manipulated towards the normal position by weekly serial casts(upto 6). The number of casts depends on the age of the child. The progress of the feet is assessed every week through the use of a technique called the Pirani Score. This is followed by a tendon cut called 'tenotomy'. After this the foot comes in the right position. The cast after tenotomy is kept for 3 weeks.
- Once the feet comes in the normal position through casting and tenotomy it is important to maintain its position or else the feet is likely to relapse. To prevent relapse, the child is worn a special designed brace called the foot abuction brace. This brace is worn night and day for nearly 23 hours during the first 3 months. After the first three months, the child needs to wear the brace for another 4 years during night time. The Ponseti Method is the mostly widely accepted method for treating method. It is very suitable for a developing country like India, because of its non-surgical approach. The success rate of this method is over 90%. It is cost effective and the brace used are light weight and easy to wear.