Club Foot

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Expecting a baby diagnosed with club foot

August 2008

I am expecting a baby soon who has been diagnosed with a club foot. Any advice on best treatment, doctors, impact on other children, books or journal articles, advice, etc.? Thanks. Berkeley mom trying to stay calm

My husband was born with a club foot. We know very little about his treatment, except that he was in casts as an infant, because he was adopted after a lot of his treatment had happened. I am sure treatment has improved, anyway, since he is now 44. His ankle is still stiff, but it hasn't held him back much. He has been an athlete all his life and usually does 4 or 5 triathlons a year now. He bike commutes to work, and has run several marathons. During graduate school, ice hockey was his favorite sport. I hope that you can relax and look forward to the birth of your wonderful baby. Kim

I don't have specific advice, but my husband was born with club feet, as were all of his siblings. He and one of his brothers required surgery to correct it -- he was about 4 years old at the time. I think his other siblings just had to wear braces at bedtime for a number of years, and maybe special shoes. This was in the late 60s, early 70s so the treatments may be different now. Anyway, they are all fine and and had ''normal'' childhoods; no problems or limitations on physical activities at all. Anon

Our 1 year old daughter was born with an orthopedic impairment that affects both hands/arms. We have been *very* happy with the occupational and physical therapy she has received through Children's Hospital in Oakland. I highly recommend their rehab department, especially Dr. Bob Haining (physiotherapist), Ginny Gibson (OT) and Caryn Lesko (PT). There is a lot to learn, but the staff at CHO are great about ensuring that you know what to look out for, and why they are or are not doing various treatments/therapies. Best of luck to you and your family. --On the road less traveled

Dr. Scott Hoffinger at Children's Hospital is an orthopedist with much experience in treating this problem. I work with him, and recommend him highly. R.N.

Please look at Your baby will be fine. You just need to make sure that you get your baby treated by a Ponseti certified doctor. If you can, it's worth the trip to go to Iowa to be treated by Dr. Ponseti himself. We took our 3 week old to Iowa to get treated and she runs, dances, jumps like any toddler now. Please join the clubfoot support group at There are many parents of clubfoot babies who can help you out - it's a treatable birth defect and if treated properly it's really not a big deal. mom of totally corrected clubfoot toddler

My husband was born with a club foot. My mother-in-law said he wore a brace for 6 months, and it was fine. That was 42 years ago. His foot is still perfectly normal. He plays and coaches basketball, runs, bikes. Lots of people were born with club foot, Kirsti Yamaguchi, David Lynch, Mia Hamm. They overcame the condition and enjoyed long and successful careers. Maybe your baby will win a Olympic gold metal someday. Just be sure to pick a good pediatrician and let her/him know about it. married to ex-club foot

I encourage you to check out the Shriners Hospitals for Children ( Their Northern California hospital is in Sacramento. This is from their website: Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, the 22 hospitals provide care for thousands of kids with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, in a family-centered environment at no charge. It's how Shriners Hospitals has been helping kids defy the odds since 1922. My dad was a Shriner for 50 years, and I can vouch for the amazing care they give to kids of all circumstances! Good luck with your new baby! Shriners Rock!

Our 17-month old girl was born with right club foot. We consulted with Dr. Ponseti, who referred us to Dr. Michael Colburn, who has been trained by Dr. Ponseti. Dr. Colburn works out of Kaiser offices in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton. Our daughter had a series of casts on her right foot & leg starting when she was 10 days old. After her 5th cast, she had a tenotomy, and her foot was corrected, and wore a footbrace most of the time. She still wears a footbrace at night, but is walking all over the place in regular shoes now. I would highly recommend Dr. Colburn as he has treated many, many cases of clubfoot. He is a Kaiser doctor, but will treat your baby even if you don't have Kaiser (we didn't). If you are considering other doctors, be sure to ''interview'' them ahead of time, and ask how many clubfoot babies they treat a year, and what their followup relapse rate is. We did consult with both Dr. Hoffinger & Dr. Colburn before our baby was born, and felt better about going with Dr. Colburn because of his experience. I would also recommend the Ponseti/clubfoot Yahoo groups someone else mentioned. Good luck! mom of baby girl right club foot

I just submitted advice about Dr. Colburn (Dr. who treated my daughter's club foot - still seeing him for followup visits). I wanted to provide you with a paper for additional reading material: Hope it helps!
and the Yahoo groups (you are not alone - people on the site are wonderfully supportive!): mom of baby girl with right club foot

I missed your posting about club foot. My Daughter just had her third procedure done on her right foot at 4 years old. What you will need to have done depands on the severity of the club foot. We have been going to Children's hospital and love it. Our Doctor is Dr. Hoffenger and he is one of the best in the country. Please give me a call if you want to talk about it. I wish I had gotten a little more information before she was born. chris

Club foot appearing at 8 months?

June 2007

Can a club foot appear spontaneously? For the past two days, my 8 m.o. daughter's left foot has been turning in towards the other foot. This seems to be causing her no pain -- it's me who is worrying! It is not constant, so perhaps this is not a club foot? Perhaps it's just her learning a new way to move and enjoying moving her body in a new way? Where I have looked online all mention club foot as a congenital defect, which I would assume means NOT out of the blue... any thoughts on this, or recommendations for websites to check out? So far my plan is to mention it to the doctor the next time we're in the office... or is this a priority? Thanks. k

My husband's an MD and he's never heard of a club foot that's not congenital. I bet, this too, will pass. If she's not in pain, and it's not constant, I wouldn't worry about it. Mom of 3

You may have something more serious going on here, but I did notice my son's feet turn more in towards each other for a few months after he started crawling (6 months) but before walking (15 months). No explanation, and it's now gone. No harm in mentioning it to your doctor, though.

My sister just had a baby with a club foot

April 2000

My sister just had a baby with a club foot. She has been to two different orthopedists, one recommended surgery, the other successive casts. Has anyone had experience with this? Can anyone tell me who would be the best doctor or practice to consult? thanks, Lynn

My daughter did not have a club foot, but, at around 19 months (she'd just started walking) her feet were turning in and our doctor recommended that she be seen by an orthopedist. We went for the appointment with Dr. Donald Townsend (3300 Webster, Oakland, 893-4854). He x-rayed her feet and showed me how the bones were growing at a distinct angle. He said that casting would correct this problem and put the casts on that same day. I was pretty distraught because she couldn't walk anymore. However, it was only a short while before she was toddling around in the casts and they did not bother or slow her down at all. (Of course, she sounded like Frankenstein coming across the floor, but, at least we knew where she was at all times!)

We went in three times (I think) to have the casts changed. It was not easy because they had to use a saw to take the casts off, then would put them back on. My daughter was not very happy about that, but we survived it. I think she wore them for about 6 months, but she's 8 now, and I can't quite remember. On the whole, I was VERY glad we did it. Her post-cast x-rays showed completely straight feet. Dr. Townsend commented to me when we went in for our last visit, that many insurance companies were no longer covering this procedure, as they deemed it cosmetic. I feel very fortunate that we were able to do it, since my niece suffers from extreme pigeon toes and it does effect her running, so I do not agree with the insurance company assessment of the procedure. Good luck to your sister! Ann

My nephew has/had clubfoot, not too severe though. Anyway, they did sucessive casts and it seems to be working, although at almost one year, he still has to do the brace. I believe that surgery might have been an option had the hard cast not worked (it was at least several months of a hard cast before the brace), but it did. So maybe they try the cast first and see how it goes. They live in so. cal so i can't give a recommendation for a doc.