Foot and Ankle Disorders
Pediatric Specialty Clinic
Physicians who would like to refer a patient should contact the Access Center
A Patient's Story
UW Health's pediatric orthopedics teams are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle disorders in children. Our physicians recognize that congenital foot deformities in particular can be associated with chromosomal abnormalities or neurologic disorders, and they work to uncover the underlying cause of the deformity as well as treat it.
When possible, our team starts with nonsurgical treatments, such as casting, bracing, orthotics and physical therapy. When required, surgical treatment focuses on preserving function and range of motion, and may include reconstruction of the bone or soft tissues, often using bioabsorbable implants, or innovative guided growth techniques.
UW Health's pediatric orthopedics team offers, and adheres to the principles of, the Ponseti Method for nonsurgical correction of clubfoot. The method was named for Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, a physician at the University of Iowa under whom our physicians have trained.
Other Congenital Foot Deformities
In addition to clubfoot, our team treats the full range of congenital foot deformities: metatarsus adductus, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, and many others. In most cases, our team will first work to correct the deformity using casting techniques, bracing, or orthotics.
If appearance and function aren't improved through these methods, surgery may be required. Procedures include:
- Osteotomies and tendon transfers to redirect the bones and soft tissues to more appropriate positions
- Joint fusions to treat severe pain
Our team also provides complete care for children and adolescents with severe ankle pain, instability, or deformity. Our team emphasizes early diagnosis and correction of ankle problems in children to prevent the development of arthritis later in life.
As with foot disorders, orthotics, physical therapy, and other nonsurgical techniques are often the first line of treatment for ankle disorders. Surgical procedures, when needed, include:
- Minimally invasive ankle arthroscopy
- Osteotomy to redirect bone alignment
- Joint fusion
And also as with foot disorders, we are also researching the effectiveness of guided-growth techniques in correcting ankle disorders.