I am pregnant and I was told my baby had club foot during my 18 week scan. How likely is this to affect him and can it be treated?

Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld, CEO and co-founder of MiracleFeet (miraclefeet.org), which aims to eliminate untreated clubfoot worldwide, says: “Although clubfoot is a serious disease, it is one of the most common birth defects and, luckily, treatable.

“Clubfoot results from abnormal development of muscles, tendons and bones in the foot. Recent studies show it occurs in one in 600 to 800 births, depending on where you live in the world. The exact causes are largely unknown, but likely include genetic and environmental factors.

“Clubfoot causes one or both feet to turn inward and downward, and they become rigid due to a strained Achilles tendon. Almost all cases occur in babies who are otherwise in good health – the position of their feet being their only medical obstacle to an excellent quality of life.

“While being diagnosed with clubfoot can come as a shock, the good news is that over 95 percent of children who are treated early can live active, healthy lives, with little to no lasting effects. -being like you I’ve never seen anyone with clubfoot, and that’s because it’s so treatable.

“In the UK or in countries with advanced medical care, the chances of your child suffering from a significant impairment from clubfoot are close to zero. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere, with inequalities global extremes in areas where families can access quality treatment.

“The preferred treatment, known as the Ponseti method, involves doing a cast for six to eight weeks to gently reposition the feet, followed by a simple procedure that releases the Achilles tendon. Finally, infants wear a splint. abduction of the foot to prevent relapses, for 23 hours a day for the first three months, then only while sleeping for several years.

“A healthcare professional will advise you on the exact length of time to wear a brace. Numerous studies, including MiracleFeet’s own data, show that consistent fitting is the most likely factor in determining long-term success. term.

“Ideally, treatment should begin within weeks of birth when the tendons and ligaments are most elastic. In healthcare systems like the UK’s, in utero diagnosis means that parents and doctors can plan the treatment of an infant during pregnancy.

“Yet today, 90% of children with clubfoot were born in low- and middle-income countries, where few receive proper care. .

“MiracleFeet’s mission is to eliminate untreated clubfoot by ensuring that every child has the opportunity to benefit from this early intervention and to thrive.”