Clubfoot Treatment Program
Lurie Children’s offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program for clubfoot, a congenital condition that can affect one or both feet in newborns. Our dedicated team of orthopedic, sports medicine and orthotics specialists have created a coordinated, family-centered approach to clubfoot care. We use the Ponseti Method, the gold standard in clubfoot treatment today. When started early in infancy, this method offers dramatic and positive results through gentle manipulation and repositioning of the feet, along with casting and bracing. We work very closely with Lurie Children's orthotists to create the proper braces to use in the Ponseti Method.
In the following videos, our team demonstrates a series of clubfoot stretches used throughout treatment:
Our clubfoot specialists treat children from birth through childhood and follow them through their teen years. We also provide prenatal counseling to parents who are concerned about having a baby with clubfoot. As one of the largest referral centers for clubfoot treatment in the Midwest, we see many children for second opinions. Our support extends to community-based pediatricians and therapists who care for children with clubfoot throughout the region.
The goal of our clubfoot program is to correct your child’s feet to give them a normal appearance and excellent function. Our team will help your child participate in the sports and recreational activities that are a part of a healthy childhood and adolescence.
The Lurie Children's Difference
We include parents and families in our treatment plans to help ensure our patients receive the best and most appropriate care possible. We spend time talking to parents about their children. This helps parents understand the diagnosis and treatments and build coping strategies. We are committed to using our resources to help children with clubfoot meet life's challenges — or find creative ways to work around them.
What to Expect
Our specialists see infants with clubfoot by appointment at our main hospital and at our outpatient centers throughout the Chicago area. We have a dedicated, multidisciplinary team ready to work with your child and your whole family.
For the best results, we begin therapy and treatment right after birth — ideally around 2 weeks of age for children born at full-term. However, we also treat many children successfully who are a little older when they begin their treatments and therapies. Most of the children we see for treatment range from infancy to 7 years old. After age 6 or 7, the risk of clubfoot returning goes down.
Preteens and teenagers will occasionally come to see us when they need additional support, therapy or athletic training to help them participate in various sports and recreational activities.
Through our clubfoot program, your child will have access to a skilled and coordinated team of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians, including:
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Sports medicine specialists
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Casting and cast care specialists
- Bracing and brace-fitting (orthotics) specialists
We use the Ponseti Method, which includes three phases of treatment. Learn more about the Ponseti Method.
Rebecca Carl, MD, is an attending physician in pediatric sports medicine and non-operative orthopedics at Lurie Children’s and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As the lead doctor for our clubfoot program, she is closely involved with each child and every family. Her knowledge and experience includes a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injury prevention, and the Ponseti Method for clubfoot treatment.
Dr. Carl works closely with a team of clubfoot specialists, including:
- Orthopedic surgeons who perform operations on the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons, including the Achilles tendon release for children with clubfoot.
- Physical therapists who assess motor development and provide at home exercise programs to help your child develop gross motor skills.
- Orthotists who assist with brace fitting once the position of your child’s foot is corrected.
- Athletic trainers who are often involved in placing casts and help children actively participate in sports.
Make an Appointment
For an appointment with our clubfoot specialists, please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®). If you come in for prenatal counseling about clubfoot before your child’s birth, please call us within a few days of your delivery. Ideally, we would like to begin treatment for clubfoot when your baby is 2 weeks old.
You can also call the Department of Orthopaedics at 312.227.6190 with questions, and they will direct your call to the right person or program.
Resources & Support
For more information on clubfoot, use the resources below: