There are several different methods, both surgical and nonsurgical, that doctors use to treat clubfoot. The most common is serial casting and stretching of the tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle region, more famously known as the Ponseti method.
Using the Ponseti method, doctors will stretch the foot of the patient and cast it in that position for a time span of one to two weeks. At that time, the cast will be removed and the foot will be stretched further, then recasted. The doctor will perform this same process several times until the feet have reached the proper position. After the patient has completed the serial casting, many of them will need to have an Achilles tenotomy performed. During this procedure, the doctor cuts a portion of the Achilles tendon in order to lengthen the ligament and change the position of the foot.
After the patient has been through serial casting and the tenotomy procedure, the doctor will provide them with braces to hold their feet in the proper position. These must be worn for several hours each day in order to prevent the feet from moving back to their natural inward position. Children who are not made to wear their braces often experience a relapse and then are forced to go through more rounds of serial castings, and possibly another Achilles tenotomy.