Club Foot

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Case Narrative

Sarah was our last patient of the day. She came with her husband, a military officer, and they were excited to see their baby on screen. This is her first pregnancy and they had only seen the baby one time before at 10 weeks along. She was now 22 weeks and eager to find out the sex. All of our students took turns scanning and as we were reviewing head measurements, abdominal circumference, placenta, etc… I noticed that the foot was in an odd position. The baby was breech so I assumed it was because the feet were crossed and pressing up against the lower uterine segment. We moved on and discovered they are having a boy! Dad was so proud. He stood up tall and said, “I knew it.” The joy didn’t last long as I instructed our 2nd year resident to look closely at the baby’s feet. He did and I knew immediately that it was a bilateral clubfoot otherwise known as talipes equinovarus. I began asking mom questions and she calmly mentioned that her brother and grandfather both had a clubfoot. We confirmed the findings when I scanned and the baby stretched. Mom was extremely calm and confident that this is a very fixable problem. Dad, however, had entered into an entirely new territory. He felt the panic that only a parent understands. It begins with pregnancy and continues through different phases of their lives. The realization of the shear love you have for this human being and the powerlessness you have. It is the intersection of love, fear, joy, and panic. Welcome to parenthood!