Surgery becomes a higher possibility for correcting club foot if all other methods have been attempted but to no avail. For instance, if the casting methods have been carried out, without any obvious changes in the developmental progress, then club foot surgery is considered the best alternative option. It also becomes a stronger likelihood if the deformity happens to become a recurrent one, despite non surgical intervention. The age at which this type of surgery should be carried out is often found to be in debate, with some saying it works best for those in infancy, compared to if the disorder took place during childhood. With this surgery there are extensive procedures that have to be applied, and these include but are not limited too, the stretching of the Achilles tendon, some pin fixations at specific joints of the foot, soft tissue removal where it is felt it might be beneficial in proper regrowth of it, and even carrying out joint contractures as well.
The surgeons that carry out the surgery for this procedure are not just beginning in their field either. Only the most experienced of these specialists are allowed to do the operations in order to guarantee a stronger possibility of achieving the end desired result. Though there are variations in different techniques, all of these surgeries require the removal of: soft tissue found at the posterior, medial, and lateral structures that make up the foot. After these tissues have been released, then the foot has a wire threaded through the deep tissue areas, to hold the surgical site in place. This is not the end of this surgery though, because about 6 weeks later a subsequent surgery must be carried out to go in and remove the wiring that was left behind. As with any surgical methodology, there are risks involved with this one but they are minimal.
Following the surgery, the patient has to be placed in a cast. This cast is a one legged cast that is extra long. It keeps the patients knee at a 90 degree angle, and of course there are pins holding the positioning of the cast around the foot, and leg in place. This cast is usually worn for 6 to approximately 8 weeks, and the specialist chooses how to remove the pins. While some just do so in the general doctors office, others carry this out in an operating room environment, allowing the patient to be as comfortable as possible. Once the pins, and the casting is removed, many times it is found that a shorter leg cast needs to be applied, and for some patients they have to wear this second one for up to a 4 week period. If, following this, there still appears to be significant issues, then the doctor will splint the foot, or require the patient to wear specialized shoes, if they are walking.
While surgery is no picnic, sometimes it is the only way to combat a serious bone disorder such as club foot. When effective treatment plans such as this are implemented the outcome is normally really good, allowing for a child to feel normal about themselves when interacting with others.