My baby has Clubfoot

At January 17th of 2016 was born my first child, and besides of being the best day of my life we also get the news thar he was born with congenital clubfoot. I had no idea what was the clubfoot or everything that changes in the life of a baby and the family.

my baby has clubfoot-what is clubfoot-the treatment of clubfoot-and how we live with it-- www.imthemother.com

The news

My baby was born during the night, and after birth, my fiance followed him with the nurses and pediatrician to see if everything was okay, clothing and everything else. When he returned to the delivery room, he said that the baby was fine just had clubfoot, which I thought had been a "bad way" at birth. Only at 7 am when I was changing the diaper to my prince, that's when I actually saw the clubfoot, and I start crying because I don't know what is that. I spoke to a nurse and she called the pediatrician who told me that he would have to make some plaster casts and then his foot became well. 

 

What is Clubfoot?

 The clubfoot is a congenital malformation that is normally detected on ultrasound (in the case of my son not) and occurs on average 1 child Caucasian every 1,000 births and is twice as common in males. The cause of clubfoot is unknown. The diagnosis of congenital clubfoot is done at birth, from the clinical observation of the deformity. The foot born crooked "turned inward" and can be unilateral (only one foot) or bilateral (both feet), in our case, was unilateral on the left foot.

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The treatment

 With about 15 days of life of my baby, we were the first appointment where the doctor explained to us what was the clubfoot and as would be the treatment. My baby was born with the left clubfoot. He made about 6 plaster on his left foot and 4 on the right foot. This treatment is based on the Ponseti method which is applied plaster from the foot to over at least the area of the groin. Every week the doctor will manipulate the joints ("moving") the foot to be in the right position. I was in tears when I saw the saw cutting the first plaster, but my baby was, no cry. He only cry when the doctor put the plaster, because he need to stay quite, and he has a lot of energy so he don't like to be quite.

It was thus for 1 month and a half. On 8 March it was time to make the tenotomy, meaning a small cut that is given up heel to make a stretch of the Achilles tendon, where the baby is anesthetized (my baby was only 2 months) and then stays with plaster for 3 consecutive weeks. The operation takes 1 half hour and in the same day we returned to our home.

After the treatment with plaster and the tenotomy, the babies have to use an orthopedics boots (external orthosis) every day until they are 4-5 years. The boots have a bar in the middle holding both boots and so when they start walking is more complicated because they can't walk with the boots. Initially, he was with the boots 24 hours a day, only took the boots to shower and nothing else, then at the end of June started to use them for 16 hours a day, which is much better because it currently has 8 months and want to crawl, sit. The minimum period that they must have the boots is 12 hours a day, but this is something that pediatric orthopedist decide according to the evolution of the foot.

The duration of treatment varies from baby to baby, in some cases, the full correction of the foot is made within one year, while sometimes it is fixed at 3 to 5 years of age. When there is a delay in the beginning of treatment, in severe forms, or when the malformation can't be corrected only by orthopedic treatment, the only solution is the recourse to surgery. Then, must immobilize the foot with plaster for some months, and then it is necessary to perform a rehabilitation treatment that allows the foot to acquire its normal functionality.

Recent studies prove that Ponseti method, which is currently done by treating clubfoot in Portugal have a 97.5% success rate. This is a deformity disease memory and so the treatment must be strictly followed, the foot will tend to return to the position in which it was born.

Being Happy and Hopeful

The most import is do the treatment as doctor says and everything will be ok. It can be rough sometimes, but our babies are so brave and strong that they make all the process easy. Mateus is a happy baby and is a true fighter, and can be more brave and strong than I. If you get the same news that your baby has clubfoot, don't worry, he will crawl, sit, walk and run as the other babies.
I know that it can be scary, and rough sometimes  but everything will be ok and your baby is happy. You can find a lot of support groups for mums with babies that have clubfoot on facebook. There you can share your day, your worries and get support to your questions. If you have questions, or just need to talk you can leave me a message.

 The "magical boots" are part of our day, but they are "friends" of us. In a while we will leave the boots.I'm very proud of Mateus, he crawl, he still, he stay up on is feets and play all the day. He is a smiling baby that melt up our hearts with his cuteness, and that makes my day.


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