Foot And Leg Development

Nowadays, it is easy to determine any abnormalities in the development of your baby's feet with the help of an ultrasound, performed between weeks 18-24 during pregnancy. In most cases, the inward turn of the foot is a positional distortion, which occurs due to pressure from the uterine lining. In a small number of cases, the abnormality can be attributed to a congenital birth defect called 'club-foot'. The incidence is 1-2:1,000 births.

Postpartum, we can differentiate between two types of positional distortions. The first type is the most common type, called Fore Foot Adduction. In this case, the front half of the foot is turned inwards and the outer part of the foot is not straight. The second type is called Pes Calcaneo Valgus. In both cases, the problem develops due to pressure from the lining of the uterus, even if the foot develops without any type of distortion. The foot should return to its natural form once the baby is born and pressure is released. Special exercises and foot braces are only required in more severe cases. Additionally, parents are instructed to help their children with active and passive physical therapy. Passive exercises include stretching the contracted area of the foot and active exercises include tickling the baby's foot so that he moves the weaker muscles on his own.

Pes Calaneo Valgus usually only takes 3 months to correct. Fore Foot Adduction can take longer, and sometimes is only corrected after the child starts walking. The pediatric orthopedist will help you determine the best method of treatment for your baby.