Questions, Answers, and more
This page serves as a hub for answering common questions, defining terms used throughout the site, and linking documents that we use for our foundation.
We have an entire page dedicated to resources for parents
Frequently asked questions
Clubfoot is a deformity present at birth that twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected using a relatively inexpensive treatment process called the Ponseti method.
Clubfoot can be treated! Children born with clubfoot can take their first steps on completely straight feet thanks early intervention and a relatively simple, cost-effective treatment method called the Ponseti method.
The Ponseti method is the gold standard of clubfoot treatment. The initial process involves weekly casting for four to eight weeks and, in most cases, a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon. After this, in the maintenance phase, children wear a foot abduction brace for 23 hours a day for three months, and then at night and nap time until the age of five.
We offer complete treatment—from the very first assessment to the very last follow-up appointment five years later—completely free of charge to those we serve.
Please refer to our clinic locator to find a partner clubfoot clinic near you.
Contact us. We’ll do our best to refer you to someone who can help.
Every three minutes, a child is born with clubfoot. For those in the developed world, treatment will begin shortly after birth. However, in most low- and middle-income countries, a child born with clubfoot will face a lifetime of disability. What has essentially been eradicated as a disability in one part of the world continues to needlessly cripple thousands of children in the rest, even though there is a cost-effective and relatively simple treatment approach available.
Glossary of terms
Casting: A series of weekly manipulations and plaster casts
Foot Abduction Brace (FAB): A brace that holds the foot in a specific position following correction in order to prevent recurrence. A Foot Abduction Brace prevents recurrence by holding the foot/feet in a specific position of abduction and dorsiflexion following correction.
Manipulation: Manually stretching the foot gently into the corrected position prior to casting
Pirani score: A tool for assessing the severity of a clubfoot, based on 6 well-described clinical signs that characterize clubfoot deformity. Each sign is scored either 0, 0.5 or 1 depending on severity.
Ponseti method: A manipulative technique that corrects congenital clubfoot without invasive surgery. The method has two equally important phases: the corrective phase and the maintenance phase. It is the globally accepted, evidence-based standard of treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective in more than 90% of cases. The goals of treatment are functional and pain-free feet, ability to use normal shoes, and avoidance of permanent disability.
Tenotomy: a minimally-invasive procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon followed by a final cast
Phases of Ponseti Treatment:
Correction phase: The first phase, which lasts four to eight weeks
Casting: A series of weekly manipulations and plaster casts
Tenotomy: A minimally-invasive procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon followed by a final cast
Maintenance phase: The second phase, which lasts four to five years
Bracing: the maintenance phase that utilizes the Foot Abduction Brace (FAB) for four to five years
Affiliate: A national organization formally partnering with Hope Walks to implement the National Clubfoot Program. Affiliates are a variety of locally registered national organizations with a shared interest in ending disability from clubfoot in their country.
Bilateral clubfoot: The term used when both feet are affected by clubfoot
Congenital condition: A condition that is present at the time of birth
Clubfoot: Clubfoot, also known by its medical name, Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV), is a deformity present from birth that twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected using a relatively inexpensive treatment method.
LMIC: LMIC is an acronym used to describe “low- and middle-income countries.” According to the World Bank, “low- and middle-income countries” are defined as countries with Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less than $12,615.
National Clubfoot Program: A program supporting clubfoot treatment within a given country that is locally led, has a network of Partner Clubfoot Clinics, and is integrated within the health system.
Parent Advisor: A representative of Hope Walks in each Partner Clubfoot Clinic that has specific responsibility for parent education and support.
Partner Clubfoot Clinics: An outpatient clinic held at a government or faith-based health facility for weekly clubfoot treatment. Each facility operates under an agreement with Hope Walks or its affiliate in-country partner.
Program Manager: Provides management and leadership of the National Clubfoot Program in an assigned country to fulfill the mission of Hope Walks
Regional Director: Provides management and leadership of National Clubfoot Programs in the assigned region to fulfill the mission of Hope Walks
Unilateral clubfoot: The term used when only one foot is affected by clubfoot
Our Style Guide
The condition “clubfoot” should always be one word, lowercase. It is never plural.
For example, a child who has two feet affected by clubfoot has “clubfoot” or “bilateral clubfoot,” not “clubfeet.”
The “Ponseti method” should always be spelled with “Ponseti” capitalized and “method” uncapitalized
We always use people-first language when speaking about people with disabling conditions
For example, we serve “children with clubfoot,” and not “disabled children” or “clubfoot children”
We capitalize “Bible” and pronouns referring to God. We do not capitalize “gospel” unless it is referring to a book of the Bible, such as “The Gospel of Mark.”
We work in Africa and Latin America
When speaking about where we work, we prefer “low- and middle-income countries,” or the acronym, LMICs
We refer to the children we treat as “children” and not “patients”
New children who begin treatment are “enrolled in treatment”