Clubfoot and Foot Deformities

The comprehensive treatment of clubfoot deformities is available at the New York Ponseti Clubfoot Center, a component of the Ebers Center for Foot Deformity at the Center for Children.  Led by Wallace B. Lehman, MD and Alice Chu, MD, this specialty clinic offers exceptional medical, surgical, and rehabilitative services to children with complex clubfoot and foot deformities.  This center utilizes both revolutionary techniques as well as time-honored remedies for the treatment of this condition.  Clubfoot is a congential deformity of the foot, which affects more boys than girls and occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Clubfoot patients' feet are pointed downwards and curved inwards.  While this condition does not cause pain, it progressively becomes worse if left untreated and may permanently cripple the infant.

All modalities of treatment are used, depending on the type of clubfoot being treated.  Treatment may be initiated by parental consultation with the staff following the diagnosis of a clubfoot in utero (by ultrasound), or after birth and continue through childhood, adolescence, and to adulthood in the case of persistent clubfoot problems.  Treatment may include:

  • Iowa-Ponseti Technique (casting combined with minimally invasive surgery)
  • Posterior foot release (English technique)
  • Posteromedial foot release (Turco technique)
  • All inclusive posteromedial and lateral releases, including plantar release (McKay-Simmons technique)
  • Progressive soft tissue releases (Bensahel and Lehman a la carte technique)
  • Tendon transfers
  • Osteotomies of the food and leg (in the older child)
  • External fixation to correct deformity (in the older child); may be of Russion (Ilizarov), Italian, or American variety (EBI)

All clubfeet are classified according to type and children may be evaluated by other disciplines such as genetics and developmental pediatrics.  When necessary, braces or orthoses for daytime and nighttime use are ordered for clubfoot patients.  All children with clubfeet are followed until maturity and through adulthood.

Watch our video, featuring Dr. Alice Chu and Dr. Wallace Lehman, to learn more about the Ponseti Clubfoot Center at the Center for Children.

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