Life After Clubfoot Treatment

The clubfoot treatment process can be intense. It’s requires extensive time and effort, especially during the bracing stage. But eventually, your child will reach the end stage of treatment and be free of the brace. 

With that in mind, here are answers to some common questions about life after clubfoot treatment.


Will My Child Ever Walk Normally? And Run? And Play?

Yes, yes, and yes. Your child will be able to wear regular shoes and walk normally after treatment.  

But there is a caveat. If the clubfoot affected only one foot, that foot might be 1 to 1½ shoe sizes smaller than the other. You’ll need to keep getting correct measurements of your child’s feet as they grow and make sure they’re wearing the right shoe size on each foot.   

The calf might look smaller, too, because the muscles in that leg are underdeveloped. In some cases, the leg is slightly shorter, as well. However, this rarely impacts a child’s ability to walk and play like other kids. 

The smaller leg and foot shouldn’t impair your child’s ability to run, play, and be active like other kids. They’ll have a great time running around a baseball diamond or playing tag with the other kids. The foot should bear their weight as any healthy foot would. 

If you have questions about your child’s foot’s growth, talk to one of our qualified pediatric orthopaedists, who can respond to your concerns and provide the information you need.


Can My Child’s Clubfoot Come Back After Treatment?

Unfortunately, yes. Even after treatment, clubfoot has a strong tendency to re-occur until your child is about 5 to 7 years old.  

That’s why bracing is so important: It can help prevent relapses. In fact, it’s much less common for a relapse to occur when the brace is applied properly and used for the length of time recommended by the doctor who is overseeing a child's treatment.  

Warning signs of relapse can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for. For instance, talk to your child’s doctor at OIC right away if: 

  • Your child’s foot is routinely slipping out of the bracing boot
  • Your child puts more weight on the outside part of the sole of the foot when walking
  • Your child’s heel turns inward or outward 

The Truth About Relapse 

The longer your child wears the brace as directed, the lower the chances of relapse. In fact: 

  • 90% of clubfoot cases relapse if bracing is stopped in the first year.
  • By the fourth year of bracing, the relapse rate drops to 10% to 15%.
  • After that, only about 6% of clubfoot cases relapse. 

If your baby has clubfoot, you don’t need to go through it alone. Our experts at OIC’s Clubfoot Clinic can explain the best options for treatment and care. And we are here for you and your child through treatment and beyond.