One of the most common problems that we treat is foot deformity. The techniques we use allow us to address the mildest to the most complicated foot deformities in children and adults. We herein highlight some information regarding the most common foot problems that we treat at the RIAO. This list is by no means complete or representative of our experience. Foot deformity is one of the most common problems we treat, and the variety of foot deformities we see comprises a very broad spectrum.
Our Center has extensive experience in the initial treatment of clubfoot in infants and in the late reconstruction of previously untreated and residual or recurrent clubfoot deformity. Dr. John E. Herzenberg is an internationally recognized expert in the nonsurgical method of treatment of clubfoot using the Ponseti technique. Using this gentle manipulative approach, he is able to avoid extensive open surgery in 95% of babies with clubfoot. We also have extensive experience with traditional clubfoot surgery, including the use of the Ilizarov method for the correction of even the most severe, resistant, and recurrent cases of clubfoot. In some cases, this requires only application of an external fixator; in other cases, it may also require some soft tissue or bone surgery. Our recurrence rate with nonsurgical and with surgical treatment is very low. We also have successfully treated many clubfoot deformities caused by other diseases, such as radiation, tethered spinal cord, and arthrogryposis.
We have developed new methods of treating the severe stiff cavus and cavo-varus foot, which frequently occurs in association with neuromuscular conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and tethered spinal cord. These new methods have been successful at restoring even the most severe cavus feet to nearly normal appearance and improving their flexibility.
Short Metatarsal (Toes)
Shortening of the metatarsal bone(s) most commonly affects the fourth toe of both feet. This can be bothersome for shoe wear and is aesthetically unpleasant. It is possible to lengthen the metatarsal bone with a small external fixator. Multiple metatarsals can also be lengthened simultaneously when more than one is short.