Four Tips to Get You Through the Clubfoot Brace Years

Published By LuskinOIC Foundation 2/1/2023

As a parent, you’ve got enough on your plate, and bracing may make that load even heavier. It takes a lot of time, and it’s demanding, but it’s also the best way to make sure your child’s clubfoot doesn’t return later.

1. Turn the initial adjustment period into a game

Your child might struggle with the clubfoot brace, at first. To help them overcome their initial fussiness:

  • Show them how to kick and swing their legs together while wearing the brace (if it has a solid bar) by pushing and pulling on the bar to bend and then straighten the knees.

  • Move their legs up and down as well (if the brace has a dynamic bar).

  • Encourage your child to practice these movements on their own.

2. Apply padding to the bar

Foam, such as a piece of swimming pool noodle, or bicycle handlebar pads can fit over the bar to:

  • Protect your child from accidental bumps or bruises

  • Keep you safe from unintentional injuries as well

  • Reduce the risk of the bar accidentally damaging your furniture

3. Keep an eye on your child’s skin

Bracing can cause minor redness on your child’s skin. Keep in mind that:

  • You should take a look at your child’s feet a few times each day when they first start bracing.

  • If you see severe red patches or blisters—particularly near the back of the heel—the straps or buckles might be too loose, allowing the heel to slip.

  • Applying lotion to your child’s skin will only make things worse.

4. Create a bracing schedule and stick to it

Eventually, your child will need to wear the brace only during naptime and at night. Incorporate the brace into their bedtime routine by:

  • Applying the brace in the same place (such as the bedroom) each time.

  • Fitting bracing into the rest of the routine—such as after bathtime but before storytime.

  • Staying consistent with this routine as much as possible, even if you are not at home.

Learn more: Clubfoot