LWB Community Blog

Club Foot Casting

Club foot is a birth defect that affects many children each year. When a child is born with this condition, one or both feet are turned upward and inward.

This means that when the child is ready to walk, they often walk on the sides or even top of the foot. This condition is very painful and not very functional.

Love Without Boundaries supports correcting club feet using the non-surgical Ponseti casting method. Dr. Ponseti, at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, developed this gentle, non-surgical method of correcting club feet in 1948. The Ponseti method involves gently massaging the foot bones into correct alignment and applying casts in 5-9 stages. The child’s discomfort is minimized and long-term results are far superior to surgical methods for correcting club feet. The casting process takes about 6 months. After casting, the children wear an abduction brace to keep the feet in the proper position. The brace is initially worn full-time, but this is gradually reduced until the child only wears the bracing shoes while sleeping and then eventually they don’t need it at all. After this treatment their feet are straight forever!

LWB is fortunate to partner with two wonderful organizations who provide club foot casting for our children:

Dr. Joyce Hill at New Hope Foundation in Beijing (also home to our Heartbridge Pediatric Unit!)
An Orphan’s Wish in Guilin

An Orphan’s Wish just opened a brand new 10-bed residential facility to treat children affected with club feet. We have sent many children to this organization for casting, and the results are always amazing! Their new facility will allow them to treat even more children and will allow excellent on-site care.

LWB has a new Club Foot Casting Fund, through which we hope to sponsor many children. The fund will also allow us to move children to a casting center right away so that their treatment is not delayed. The younger the child, the better the results of casting. You can learn more about our Club Foot Casting Fund here: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/medical_clubfoot_june2009.cfm

Melissa Tourville is the General Surgery Coordinator for LWB. She lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband Jason and their four sons.

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