A club foot, or congenital talipes equinovarus, is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both. The affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle and inverted at the foot with the toes pointing downward. Without treatment, persons afflicted often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet. It is a common birth defect and Hopital Adventiste sees an inordinate amount of these patients in the orthopaedic clinic.
Most patients can be treated nonoperatively with serial casting but resistent and neglected cases require surgical management. Typically most of the worst cases, like the patient featured below, are referred to this facility for treatment.
Dr Nelson has become skilled at using the Taylor Spatial Frame for correcting many of these advanced deformities. The technique involves the use of an elaborate system of wires, pins, rings, nuts and bolts to employ gradual distraction to correct the pathology.
The correction algorithm is based on data inputed into a computer program which tells the patient or family member how much distraction to perform, typically only a small fraction of the overall correction each day. The patient often wears the machine for several months before the desired result is achieved and the device is removed.