Clubfoot is a congenital deformity that presents at birth and afflicts approximately 1 in every 1000 children.
Utilizing modern medical treatments consisting of serial casting and surgery, bracing and shoe therapy, children do quite well today when this treatment is made available shortly after birth.
In poor countries, such care is often not available and the deformity is unrecognized or untreated and the neglected clubfoot deformity results. The results are crippling.
Operation Footprint sends surgical teams to Central American countries to perform surgery, deliver medical supplies, and to train local physicians and nurses in the diagnosis and treatment of this and other lower extremity deformities. Since 1976 we have helped to improve the lives of thousands of children born with this crippling deformity.
What We Do
In 1976 a group of Southern California Podiatrists formed the Baja Project For Crippled Children, Inc. and began to treat children in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico who had been born with congenital clubfoot deformity and had no other recourse for treatment. At that time these children received no therapy for their conditions which remained neglected and these congenital deformities grew into severe rigid deformities as these children became adolescents and adults.
Doctors from Southern California would visit a local clinic in Mexicali and each week would provide manipulation and serial casting therapy for approximately 25 children. Those whose deformities were already too severe to respond to such treatment received surgical intervention at La Cruz Roja, the local Red Cross facility by members of the team.
During the 1980’s the project expanded to Tijuana, Mexico. During the period from 1976 through approximately 2002, we treated several thousand children at both sites.
During the 1990’s our team went to San Miguel, El Salvador where many children also had neglected clubfoot deformity, as well as other congenital and neuromuscular deformities. During our week long mission we would operate on more than 40 children with neglected deformities.
In 2002 we were invited by the Tegucigalpa Rotary Club and Hospital San Felipe in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to hold an annual week-long surgical mission there. Since then approximately 450 children have been operated on for the correction of neglected clubfoot deformity, as well as other neuromuscular deformities of the feet and legs.
Additionally, we present demonstrations and lectures to train Honduran physicians, residents-in-training, and nurses how to recognize and treat club foot deformity in the Ponseti method of manipulation and casting so as to prevent these deformities from going untreated.
Through our sponsors we have been able to deliver casting materials so these treatments are available at the hospital with an orthopedist’s supervision. Because we no longer restrict our efforts to Baja California, we decided to change our name to Operation Footprint, Inc.