Clubfoot Treatment Options

Ponseti Method

The Ponseti method is a gentle treatment method for clubfoot that uses casts and braces to correct the condition in lieu of surgery. For most young patients, the Ponseti method can help return the foot to full functionality, giving them the gift of a normal childhood without pain or disability. The treatment requires that the child is in a cast for approximately two months, after which he or she must wear a brace all day for another three months and at night for three to four years.

Dr. Frick, the chief of pediatric orthopedics, is recognized as a Ponseti doctor by the Ponseti International Association and has years of experience using the treatment method.

Surgery

It is extremely rare for a patient not to respond to the Ponseti method, but it does happen, especially when clubfoot occurs alongside other conditions or if braces are not worn for a sufficient amount of time. Surgery in infants is rare. If a relapse or recurrence of deformity occurs when the child is more than 3 years old, we will sometimes perform tendon transfer surgery. At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, we avoid surgery that cuts ligaments or opens up joints unless absolutely necessary, as these surgeries can result in lifelong stiffness and pain.