Information - Treatment Options




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treatment Options

Conservative Treatment | Surgical Treatment

Treatment for Talipes is varied, and will depend on both your child and your doctor. The Ponseti method is becoming much more accessible in the UK, and is certainly worth looking into.

Conservative Treatment

Strapping and physiotherapy - This is the method we first tried with Bethany, and was very common at the time. Strips of adhesive strapping are passed around the foot, up the sides of the leg, and over the top of the knee, to hold the foot in a corrected position. This is usually done weekly, following some physiotherapy.

This can be useful for fairly mild cases, and did in fact correct her left foot. Generally though, it tends to be ineffective after about 3 months. By this time the kicks are so strong that the strapping stretches very quickly, and is also liable to come off.

Plaster fixation - The surgeon manipulates the foot into position, and holds it in place with plaster. In the UK the plasters tend to stay on for about 4 weeks, whereas in the US, they are changed weekly. This was once the most common treatment in the US.

Ponseti Method - When Bethany was being treated, this method was becoming more common in the US, but there were only one or two doctors practicing it in the UK. Since then, that situation has changed. It involves regular casting, followed by the wearing of a splint. This splint may be needed at night for 2 to 4 years, which makes this a long term treatment, that needs to be followed by both parent and child. However, as it replaces the need for surgery, it is often a method preferred by parents.

The links here are a good place to start. The message board on this site has details of some of the doctors using this method.

Splinting - There are different types of splint available, with the most popular being an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO). These may be worn just at night, or for most of the time.

French Physio Method - A technique pioneered in France, and used in certain places in the US. At this present time, I am not aware of it being used in the UK. An article can be found here.

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