World clubfoot day is celebrated June 3rd annually. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Doctor Ignacio Ponseti, the developer of the Ponseti technique as a treatment for clubfoot. Read more about the Ponseti technique here. The goal of world clubfoot day is to create awareness about this disability and it’s effective, nonsurgical treatment by the Ponseti technique, compared to invasive surgical procedures that were previously used.
Clubfoot, also known as Talipes Equinovarus is a congenital defect in which the newborn’s foot or feet is turned inward and downward, due to the shortening and tightening of the Achilles tendon. According to WHO, over 100,00 babies worldwide are born with clubfoot every year, making it one of the most common birth defects.
Who is at risk for Clubfoot?
➢ Boys are more likely to develop clubfoot than girls are.
➢ Babies with other birth defects like Trisomy 18 or spinal bifida.
➢ Babies with family history of clubfoot.
➢ Oligohydramnios increases the risk of developing clubfoot.
➢ Smoking, alcohol intake and use of some drugs during pregnancy also increase the risk of the newborn developing clubfoot.
If left untreated, children born with clubfoot can have difficulty in walking, arthritis, foot infections, poor self-image and stigmatization from peers. Luckily, this condition can be treated if detected early by a variety of methods, the most effective of them being Ponseti Technique. Today, people around the world celebrate children affected by and living with clubfoot and create awareness about this disability.
How to observe World Clubfoot day?
• Visit families affected by clubfoot.
• Visit hospitals and NGOs specialized in treating children born with clubfoot.
• If you or a family member is affected by this condition, share your story on social media.
• Donate to organizations that offer clubfoot treatment.
• Create awareness on social media by using the hashtag #WorldClubfootDay.
- Miraclefeet organization. World clubfoot day 2022. Available from: https://www.miraclefeet.org/world-clubfoot-day
- World Health Organization. Fact sheet on congenital anomalies. Available from: https://www.who.int/teams/integrated-health-services/clinical-services-and-systems/surgical-care/congenital-anomalies
- Cleveland Clinic. Clubfoot (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16889-clubfoot )
- Photo credit: Ezeanosike O.B. Clubfoot. Ezeanosike O.B’s own collection.; Picture taken with permission.
Written by: Igwe Ezinne Esther