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News Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Worth the trip for club feet treatment

How far would you travel to obtain the best care for your child? Since December 2010, Jason and his parents have traveled more than 13,500 miles over the course of 61 trips from their home in upstate New York to Shriners Hospitals for Children —Springfield in Massachusetts for Jason’s club feet care.

Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position. Jason was born with bilateral club feet that were initially treated by a local orthopaedist. When Jason was 5 months old, the orthopaedist realized he needed specialized pediatric care. At his parents’ request, Jason was referred to the Springfield Shriners Hospital.

David Drvaric, M.D., and Sarah Durgin, M.H.S., PA-C, began casting using the Ponseti method. In this nonsurgical approach, gentle manipulation is used to stretch contracted ligaments, repositioning the foot in stages through a series of casts that are changed weekly. This method gradually straightens the foot into the correct position.

Jason’s left foot responded well, without the need for surgery. A surgical procedure was necessary to allow Jason’s right foot to be flat on the ground when he walked. Jason’s feet were also placed in special shoes connected by a bar, worn every night to maintain the corrected position of the feet.

Three years later, Jason’s feet had a recurrence and two additional episodes of casting were required. Jason was also given custom braces, made on-site in the Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services – Northeast, LLC department at the Springfield Shriners Hospital.

Jason has received continued treatment for his condition. His care team will monitor Jason as he grows to make sure his feet are aligned and pain-free.

When asked if all the travel was worth it, Jason's mother answered, “Every mile.”

Learn more about orthopaedic care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield.

Clubfoot care before and after