The Little Feet Club
To help end disability caused by clubfoot across the entire country of India.
Through a collaborative effort with Clubfoot India Initiative Trust (CIIT), The Little Feet Club works to ensure that every child born with clubfoot has access to quality treatment and the opportunity to lead a club-foot free life.
What is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot, formally known as talipes equinovarus, is a condition in which children are born with one or both feet inverted and internally rotated.
Approximately 1 in 1,000 children are born with clubfoot, and males are typically twice as likely as females to be affected.
4 out of 5 times, clubfoot is an idiopathic, or isolated, occurrence. Occasionally, clubfoot can be an associated symptom of another disorder. One (unilateral) or both (bilateral) feet can be affected at about a 50/50 ratio.
Diagnosis can be made during pregnancy as early as 12 to 13 weeks, and may be detected on your baby’s first ultrasound. Once diagnosed, you will be referred to a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon to discuss your goals and your baby’s treatment process.
The current gold standard of treatment is called the Ponseti method, a minimally invasive technique which involves the application of a series of casts and a period of wearing of a special foot brace to keep the feet from relapsing.
the Ponseti Method
Step 1: Diagnosis
Clubfoot is typically diagnosed prenatally, at which point you will have your first meeting with an orthopaedic specialist. This meeting is meant to review the diagnosis with you, discuss the treatment options, and answer any questions you have.
Step 2: Casting
A week after birth, your baby will need to come in for the first cast. Your doctor will carefully manipulate the feet, holding each in a progressively corrected position while the cast is applied by another clinician.
Casts are worn for a week without removal, after which your baby will return to the clinic for the next cast. A total of 4 to 6 casts are usually required for full correction of the feet.
Step 3: “Boots and Bar”
Once the casting phase is over, your baby will likely need a short and minimally invasive procedure called a tenotomy. This procedure is done to increase the length of your baby’s Achilles tendon and can be done at your doctor’s clinic.
As your baby grows, the focus now is to prevent your baby’s feet from relapsing. To do so, a special brace is used. The brace is made up of two boots connected by a stabilizing bar, which functions to keep the feet in proper position.
Your baby will begin by wearing the boots for 23 hours a day for a period of weeks, then will taper down to only nights and naps once your doctor deems appropriate.
Step 4: Completion
After 2 years of progress monitoring, you and your child come in for a final treatment evaluation. If your child’s feet remain corrected and show no signs of relapse, your child has successfully completed treatment.
Your child may choose, in the long term, to participate in any sports or physical activity she chooses, as successful treatment is expected to allow your child to run and play without difficulty.
1. Clinical Training
Our Medical Directors are experts of the Ponseti method for clubfoot treatment, and provide clinical training to doctors in India annually. At these national training conferences, orthopaedic surgeons from across India learn and review the proper manipulation and casting techniques to ensure effective treatment.
Our next national training in India is scheduled for March 2020.
2. Health Data Infrastructure
From the first step of diagnosing clubfoot to your baby’s final clinic visit, clubfoot treatment could not be successful without effective health data collection and information sharing.
Our Operations Directors work closely with all parties within the spectrum of clubfoot care to ensure that patient records are accurate, complete and current. Additionally, they work to ensure patient data is being shared appropriately for successful progress monitoring.
3. Clubfoot Research
Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth defect, and as such remains a significant cause of disability globally.
India is the second-most populated country in the world, and as such has some of the highest clubfoot prevalence worldwide.
Our efforts to create a system capable of detecting and treating every case of clubfoot will help us better understand the clubfoot condition, its causes, and how we can further improve our treatment and outcomes.
Dr. Walid Yassir
Dr. Mathew Varghese
Dr. Santosh George
100% of your donation is dedicated to clubfoot treatment.
Please note: The Little Feet Club, Inc. is currently awaiting 501c3 not-for-profit status and is unable to provide receipts for tax deduction purposes until granted. Please contact us with any questions.