Pediatric Club Foot Program
The Pediatric Club Foot Program is staffed by pediatric orthopedic specialists who have special training and a combined experience of more than 50 years in clubfoot management.
The foundation of management follows principles and techniques developed by Dr. I. Ponseti. We have achieved success with his method even in children who had failed casting treatment in the hands of others. Major surgical releases had been advised in some of those children.
The Ponseti technique has a long history at the University of Iowa for treating club foot in children. In the last few years it has become widely used by pediatric orthopedic surgeons because of its high rate of success without requiring major surgery. Some children (10-15%) still need surgery because the non-surgical treatment does not work every time.
The basis of treatment is the application of plaster casts to the feet and legs. The casts are changed weekly. Correction normally occurs within six weeks. A minor surgical Achilles tenotomy (lengthening) is commonly required. This is a brief outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. The incision is so small that no sutures (stitches) are needed. To maintain correction, it is necessary to place the child in special shoes connected by a bar. These shoes are worn full time for about six months in infants. In older infants and children, the shoes and bar are worn during sleep times for three years.
Recurrences of club foot do occur. They are significantly more common if the shoes and bar are not worn as directed. Most recurrences can be treated by a brief period of re-casting. Some children require a tendon transfer procedure a few years after initial casting. A few need more extensive surgical procedures. In the average case, no surgery other than the minor Achilles tenotomy is needed. Ask the expert about club foot treatment.
Meet the Pediatric Club Foot Program Medical Director
Dr. Dayle Maples has been practicing pediatric orthopedics in Grand Rapids, Michigan, since 1986. After training in the Grand Rapids Orthopaedic Surgical Residency, she served a clinical fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at the University of Toronto.
Current areas of clinical interest include evaluation and treatment of plagiocephaly and torticollis, minimally invasive club foot treatment, scoliosis, angular and torsional problems of childhood, and care of the child with neuromuscular disorders. She is Medical Director of the Motion Analysis Center (gait lab) at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
Dr. Maples’ practice includes the evaluation and treatment of a variety of pediatric orthopedic conditions in addition to club foot. She is available for consultation through the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Outpatient Clinics.
Contact the Pediatric Club Foot Program
For more information about club foot in children, or to make a referral to Mary Free Bed's Pediatric Club Foot Program, please contact the Club Foot Program:
Outpatient Referral Form