Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

The Ponseti Clubfoot Brace: Tips for Parents

Correcting your child's clubfoot begins with a series of casts and ends with a brace.

After the foot's position is corrected in the casting phase, it must be maintained in the bracing phase for up to 5 years. The Ponseti clubfoot brace keeps the corrected foot growing like it should. If the brace isn't worn as directed, a corrected clubfoot will return to its original position (this is called a relapse).

Putting the Shoes On

The orthopedic care team will teach you how to put on your baby's shoes and then attach them to the brace. First, they'll show you how to apply the braces on a baby doll model during the casting phase. That way, you'll be ready to apply the brace to your baby after their feet are corrected. Older kids and other family members also might want to learn how to do this.

It's important to be sure your baby's feet are positioned correctly in the shoes or boots. Here's how:

  • First, put soft, thin cotton socks (avoid terrycloth or other thick material) on your baby. Make sure the socks fit snugly (no wrinkles or sags) and are long enough to go above the top of the shoe. Some people use socks that have a little extra grip on the bottom.
  • Open all the flaps of the shoe and move them and the straps out of the way.
  • Slide your child's foot into the shoe, making sure the heel is all the way down and at the back of the shoe. Press down with your thumb to keep the foot in place.
  • Holding the foot securely in the shoe, put the shoe's tongue over the middle of the foot.
  • Always tighten the middle strap first. It should be snug enough that you can't wiggle the foot.
  • Then, tighten the top strap over the ankle, followed by the third strap near the toes. It can help to mark the hole on each strap so you know exactly where to buckle it. The soft leather may stretch over time.

As the care team showed you, look through the holes in the back of the shoe to make sure that the heels are all the way down and back. You should not be able to wiggle the feet in the shoes.

Attaching and Detaching the Bar

When both shoes are on, attach the bar. The shoes alone won't keep your child's feet in place — they need to be connected to the bar to stay corrected.

On the bottom of the bar, look for an R and an L for your child's right foot and left foot. Numbers on the bottom of the bar tell you how far your child's feet are turned out when in the brace. Your doctor will prescribe the correct angle for your child's feet, but usually a clubfoot will face out at 60 degrees and a non-clubfoot will be placed at 30 degrees.

Slide the bar into the groove in the bottom of the shoes and click into place.

To take the bar off the shoes, just press on the tab that says "Push" while gently pulling the bar out. Take the bar off before removing the shoes.

Reviewed by: L. Reid Nichols, MD
Date Reviewed: 15-02-2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.