Identify and treat deformities of the foot.
Your toddler is not walking yet, but the first months of his life are the best time to identify and treat deformities of the foot. Unique sandals, developed by an Israeli company, provide an effective solution to a common problem.
Dr. Izak Daizade
Early diagnosis that prevents future surgery
A simple examination by an orthopedist, in the baby’s first weeks or months, can result in the early diagnosis and quick and efficient treatment of a”Metatarsus Adductus” deformity. Without such treatment, the problem might worsen and necessitate future surgeries. The deformity, the most common among newborns, is known as metatarsus adductus (MA) or Pigeon- toed, Metatarsus Varus, Metatarsus Primus Varus, Calcaneovalgus, Forefoot Varus, Cavovarus foot,Skewfoot, Intoeing gait forefoot adduction (FFA). According to research, it is prevalent in 3.2 to 12 percent of newborns.
The common treatment is no longer required
In fact, Metatarsus Adductus may be the most common deformity among infants, but it is also the one that can be treated with the most success, when treatment is started in the child’s early months – preferably before the age of nine months.
Until a few years ago, the common treatment across the globe was a set of castings reaching the inguinal area, changing the castings every 4 to 6 weeks. This has been the accepted method worldwide over the past two hundred years. The problem was that it involved many complications and difficulties, which brought doctors to give up the treatment in the mild and moderate cases, and treat only severe cases. In those cases too, despite the correction achieved with the castings, the problem recurred after the treatment was discontinued. Therefore, reverse-last shoes were recommended in order to preserve the correction after the end of the treatment.
Over recent years, we at UNFO (Universal Neonatal Foot Orthotics) Israel
have developed unique braces using an innovative and highly sophisticated technology. They are made as sandals fitted to the infants’ feet and easily adjusted.
|The babies wear the sandals 23 hours a day for 3-6 weeks, depending on the gravity of the condition. Later, they wear them only at night for 6 more weeks, to preserve the correction. It is a friendly, effective and safe treatment that ends before the infant starts walking.
For the full guide to using orthopedic sandal from unfo med click here
This method can also treat mild cases, instead of gambling on the deformity correcting itself with time. Any delay in diagnosis and treatment might be significant in the child’s adult life, hamper treatment and leave him with a deformed and unstable gait, and side effects when older. These side effects can include pain, rapid shoe wear out, stress fractures on the outer side of the foot (the fifth metatarsal bone), hallux valgus (“bunion”) and mallet toe.
Since 2007, thousands of infants in Israel and around the world have been treated with UNFO’s correction braces to correct MTA, and have enjoyed a full and quick recovery without significant side effects, and without gambling with their feet on uncertain statistics.
- According to recent studies:
Only 80 to 85 percent of mild cases of MA can be resolved without treatment. All moderate to severe cases that are not flexible – require treatment.
- There is no proof that stretches and physiotherapy exercises by parents or physiotherapists are effective for treating infants’ feet.
- To achieve successful results, the treatment must begin before the age of 9 months. Treatments after the age of 10 months are less successful.
Note: The parents’ vigilance is crucial in identifying and diagnosing the problem in the first months, to correctly and effectively treat the feet of precious infants before walking age. There are many cases of “omissions” in routine medical examinations at the HMOs or at the Family Health Centers. We receive these cases after walking age -at such a stage, treatments are ineffectual.
Dr. Izak Daizade is an orthopedic surgery specialist and founder of UNFO Med Ltd.