Club Foot launch

#club foot

Club Foot launch

BY Jon W

26 January 2018

Club foot affects around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK, the affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle. The foot points downwards and inwards, with the soles of the feet facing backward.

Club foot bracing specialist Jerald Cunningham is coming to the UK to mark the launch of the Cunningham Brace in the UK by LOC. The Cunningham Brace has been developed over the last 15 years, it provides patients with an alternative to the traditional boots and bar bracing phase of the Ponseti treatment. We are proud to announce that LOC has the exclusive rights to prescribe and fit the Cunningham brace in the UK and Europe.

The Cunningham Brace is a flexible brace that is only fitted to the affected leg and allows movement for all normal activities such as crawling, rolling, standing and even walking.

Jerald runs his own clinic, Cunningham Prosthetic Care, in Maine, USA. He graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in Physics and Cognitive studies. He is a guest lecturer at the University of New England’s PhD. Physical Therapy programme.

Jerald will be in LOC’s Kingston clinic from the 5th to the 7th of February. During this period some appointments will be available, please get in touch if you would like to book a place.

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Club foot, or clubfoot, is the general name given for a medical condition called congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). Congenital means that you’re born with the condition, which can occur in one or both feet. It is quite common, occurring in around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.

The Ponseti method involves manipulation and repeated weekly casting for about five to eight weeks. After that, a small procedure called a tenotomy is carried out under local anaesthetic to lengthen the tight heel cord – known as the Achilles tendon – in the back of your ankle. The treatment follows very strict, well-understood protocols and is the gold standard in corrective treatment for club foot. Indeed, the procedure is used and endorsed by Great Ormond Street.

The Cunningham Brace was designed by Jerald Cunningham, who runs his own clinic in the US. It works using a firm strap around the thigh and a spring that holds the brace up against the bottom of the foot. This means that the brace is always gently stretching your baby’s foot into the correct position, in a similar way that a therapist applies manipulation. 

Jerald developed the brace at the request of an orthopaedic surgeon and colleague who saw how distressing the boots and bar process was for many children and parents. Jerald has worked on the design for more than 10 years, tweaking as he goes, based on x-ray evidence after every patient fitting.

No problem. Often parents come to us after they’ve tried persevering with the boots and bar treatment for a few months. It may change our treatment plan a little and your child might need treatment for a bit longer, but the process will essentially be the same.

At the moment we can fit the brace at our clinics in Kingston-upon-Thames and Bristol; in addition, we can do follow up appointments at our Manchester clinic. There is a certain amount we can do virtually, but your first fitting would need to be done in person.

We have the following facilities and amenities at our Kingston Upon Thames location:

  • Free parking
  • Wheelchair ramp
  • Disabled toilet
  • Baby changing facilities

We also have the Gait Laboratory for orthotics patients and Onsite Manufacturing for speedy turnarounds and adjustments whilst you wait.