Plaster Casts and Strappings
Congenital and acquired foot deformities have a multitude of treatment options. When possible, most physicians will recommend starting with conservative methods; it is best to avoid surgical treatment of foot deformities in both children and adults until necessary.
Two non-surgical options for the treatment of foot deformities like hammertoe, clubfoot, flat feet, pes cavus, and plantar fasciitis include plaster casts and foot strappings.
Clubfoot is a type of foot deformity present at birth. The appearance of clubfoot is unmistakable; the foot is turned inward or downward.
Treatment of clubfoot should begin right away following birth. In the last few decades, one of the most successful methods of treatment for clubfoot has been the Ponsetti method, which involves both stretching the feet and multiple plaster castings. Plaster casting is now used on virtually all children with clubfoot as soon as possible after birth. A doctor will gently manipulate the clubfoot and then place it in a cast that stretches from the toes to the upper thigh. Casts are changed at weekly or semi-weekly intervals until the deformity is corrected. Every new cast brings the foot closer to normal.
Acquired foot deformities like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can be extremely uncomfortable if left untreated. In some cases, something as simple as foot strapping can reverse the symptoms of these painful deformities.
Foot strapping is commonly used by athletes to help lift foot arches and relieve some of the tension on the plantar fascia ligaments.
Foot strapping can help:
- Aid in the healing of the foot following injury.
- Improve foot biomechanics.
- Reduce painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
- Reduce the chances of injury during athletics.
Foot strapping along the ball of the feet and the heel can help restrict the amount of stretching in the feet and prevent tearing of the plantar fascia. The success of foot strapping depends on the severity of injury. Talk to a podiatrist at Northeast Iowa Podiatry to find out if foot strapping can help reduce your symptoms.