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What to expect at the Canada Shriners Hospital.
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Reggie Hamdy, M.D., and Thierry Benaroch, M.D., lead the pediatric orthopaedic surgical team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada. Specialized pediatric orthopaedic cast room nurses are also part of the orthopaedic team treating clubfoot.

The Ponseti method is the established protocol for treatment and correction of the disorder at the Canada Shriners Hospital. The orthopaedic team works closely together to provide customized treatment and follow-up care that is easily accessible to families.

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot is the most common treatable orthopaedic condition among newborns. About one out of every 1,000 babies is born with clubfoot and boys are more often affected. The cause is unknown, but there may be a genetic component. At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada, we focus on treatment as soon as the child is born. Given the elasticity of soft tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons) at a young age, it is highly recommended to start treatment as soon as possible.

Once the foot is corrected, it remains somewhat different from a normal foot and must be monitored, as the deformity may reoccur. Your child’s feet should be checked on a regular basis during growth. As your child ages and once the clubfoot is corrected, he or she will be able to walk and participate in all the activities desired, just like any other child.

Ponseti method and treatment phases

According to the Ponseti method, clubfoot treatment is divided into three phases:

  1. Series of casts
  2. Surgery
  3. Boots and brace

Initial clinic visit?

Club feet are often detected during a pregnancy ultrasound. In this case, your physician may have referred you to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada for a pre-natal consultation.

At this appointment, you will meet with the physician and the nurse who will take care of your child after birth. You will then receive all the necessary information about club feet and the Ponseti method. You can also visit the clinic and the cast rooms. If you have concerns about future treatment, take advantage of this visit to ask your questions.

When club feet are diagnosed at birth, the pediatrician, immediately after delivery, will send a consultation request specifying the diagnosis. If, however, you have met the team during your pregnancy, you should contact the hospital within two weeks. Following receipt of the request, a secretary will contact you to make an appointment. At the initial clinical appointment, you will meet with the orthopaedic surgeon who will ascertain if the deformity of the foot or feet is actually a clubfoot. If this is the case, you will be directed to the cast room to meet our team. A cast will be applied immediately. You will then return every week to change the casts to gradually correct the clubfoot. Do not worry, the casts are painless. Your child might be somewhat irritable for the first 24 to 48 hours, but most babies adapt quite quickly to the casts.

At subsequent appointments, you will go to the cast room where the cast will be removed, and you will then be able to give your child a bath and feed him in a private room. The physician will then apply a new cast to obtain more correction. You will see improvement in the foot’s position from one week to the next. The younger the child, the sooner the correction is visible.

A clubfoot diagnosis may be stressful for new parents, but our team is on hand to provide exceptional medical expertise and personalized care in an optimal environment. As we often like to say at the initial visit, after a few appointments, you will feel like a member of our family. Every week you will see your child’s foot change and when he is old enough to walk or play sports, this entire process that initially seemed difficult to you will be nothing more than a fleeting memory.

Additional information

Our cast room nurses will be pleased to answer your questions. Call 514-282-7159.

three staff members