• Baby girl born with severe congenital foot deformity called ‘Club Foot’ undergoes corrective procedure which allows her to learn to walk normally without any complications
• The procedure, using the ‘Ponseti Method’, has helped many infants born with birth deformities at Aster Hospitals
• Clubfoot is a common congenital birth defect, with an average prevalence of approximately 1 per 1000 live births
Dubai, UAE, 3 January, 2020: A baby girl born at Aster Hospital, Mankhool with a birth deformity in her left ankle and foot, commonly known as ‘Club Foot’ has undergone a correction procedure using the ‘Ponseti Method, a method used to help infants born with this birth deformity.
‘Congenital Talipes Equino Varus (CTEV)’, commonly known as ‘Club Foot’ is a congenital foot deformity in newborn babies. The deformity develops in the uterus at about the third month of pregnancy during which the foot starts to turn inwards. It can affect both legs but in this case the deformity was only in the left leg of the baby. Her parents were informed about the condition during an antenatal ultrasound screening and were counseled in depth about the diagnosis and treatment of the child post-delivery.
“The baby was born, with the left foot smaller, turned inward and downward with the heel pointing outwards with tight structures affecting the muscles and tendons around the ankle and foot. Without treatment, it would have impacted the child when she started walking, causing excruciating pain, limping and difficulty in walking. Our main objective was to correct this deformity right after birth so that she would have no complications with her foot, while growing up. The procedure we have used is called the ‘Ponseti Method’ named after its pioneer, Dr Ignacio V Ponseti and involves an in-depth knowledge of the functional anatomy of the foot and responses of muscles, ligaments and bones. Using this method, we were able to perform the corrective surgery,” stated Dr. Alexis Jude Dominic Xavier, Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, who performed the procedure.
After use of five corrective casts, from toes to the thigh, applied once a week, the foot and ankle was assessed thoroughly again. A Tendo Achilles Tenotomy (cutting open a tendon at the back of the heel) was performed to achieve a full correction of the foot. The foot was then plastered for 3 weeks and then a custom-made splint was prescribed for the child. By the time the child was about 9 months old, she began to walk and was given special shoes to prevent the recurrence of the deformity. By the time the child is ready to attend pre-school, she will have a perfectly functioning leg, requiring no further treatments other than regular follow-ups.
Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO, Aster Hospitals & Clinics, UAE commented, “The parents were kept informed and intimated about the leg deformity of their child at every stage of the pregnancy. Doctors have worked together to ensure that the baby received the corrective procedure right after her birth and by educating and guiding the parents, informed decisions could be taken ahead of time. Getting the treatment done at the same hospital their child was born in, gave their parents the ease of dealing with doctors they were comfortable with. The parents have shown immense trust on our doctors and our doctors have been able to perform the correction up to their expectations. The child has begun walking without any complications and that in itself is the reward of our efforts.”
In the last 5 years, children suffering from both unilateral and bilateral CTEV, have been treated at Aster Hospitals, Dubai. The infants have shown excellent recovery rates and are doing well.