The biggest challenge in treating clubfoot cases is getting patients (babies) to keep the splints on, said Jagannath Kamath, Head of Department, Orthopaedics, District Government Wenlock Hospital.

The Department of Orthopaedics, jointly with CURE International India, started a clubfoot clinic at Wenlock Hospital a fortnight ago. He said about 25 patients have been treated at the clinic.

Clubfoot is a congenital deformity that severely twists the foot downward and inward making it impossible or very difficult for the child to walk. About 2,500 children are born with clubfoot every year in Karnataka, it is said.

However, it can be corrected permanently using the Ponseti technique, which is accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It uses a series of plaster casts over four to six weeks to correct the deformity followed by surgery if required and foot braces that should be worn for 23 hours per day over three months and then during night and while sleeping for three to four years to prevent recurrence. Dr. Kamath said, “Follow up is important… dropout (rate) is very high. That is the biggest hurdle.” Rajeshwari H.R., District Surgeon and Medical Superintendent, Government Wenlock Hospital, said the treatment is free of cost for patients.

For details, contact Wenlock Hospital at 99000 55229 or CURE Clubfoot Karnataka State helpline at 9900468545.