miraclefeet offers a variety of ways to donate and help treat clubfoot one step at a time.
The miraclefeet Vision
miraclefeet is dedicated to providing proper treatment for children born with clubfoot in developing countries. miraclefeet partners with local orthopedic surgeons working in public hospitals to establish and support clubfoot clinics within the existing public health system. miraclefeet believes this is the most effective, efficient and sustainable approach to prevent the significant disability caused by untreated clubfoot around the world.
miraclefeet can fully treat a child with clubfoot in a developing country for about $250 per child transforming his or her life forever.
1 out of every 750 children born worldwide is born with clubfoot, about one child every three minutes. Over one million children in the world live with untreated clubfoot. Clubfoot, the single most common congenital birth defect, causes one or both feet to turn inward and downward. Without proper treatment, many of these children walk only with great difficulty, making clubfoot one of the leading causes of permanent disability in the world. In many countries disability results in illiteracy, physical and sexual abuse, neglect, humiliation and very little opportunity to work, get married or live a decent life. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. With treatment children born with clubfoot can live normal lives, running, playing and becoming productive members of their communities.
The majority of children born with clubfoot in the developing world have little access to treatment and minimal financial resources. Historically, clubfoot was treated with complicated orthopedic surgery. In addition to being expensive and difficult on children, surgery has very poor results. However, the Ponseti Method, a very effective, non-surgical treatment, now makes it possible to address the issue of clubfoot inexpensively on a global scale.
The Ponseti Method involves a series of simple, properly applied plaster casts which are changed weekly. In 95% of cases, this results in full correction of the foot in 4-6 weeks. Following casting, a simple foot abduction brace is worn at night for four years to prevent relapse. Ideally, treatment starts within weeks of birth, but children as old as 16 have been successfully treated using the Ponseti Method. Even though the Ponseti Method is relatively easy to teach and requires minimal equipment and supplies making it ideal for the developing world, it is still not readily available in most of the world.
The Ponseti Method is endorsed by the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons and most international professional medical associations.
miraclefeet Progress to Date
miraclefeet launched its first project in a low-income area of Sao Paulo, Brazil in October 2010. Since then, miraclefeet has helped start additional programs in Brazil as well as programs in Mexico, Nicaragua, India,and Liberia. Two years after launching our first clinic, miraclefeet now supports treatment in over 28 clinics. miraclefeet continues to add clinics in each country and to evaluate opportunities to work in new countries where the organization can have a positive impact on the number of children treated.
miraclefeet was created in 2008 by a group of concerned parents of clubfoot children and orthopedic surgeons who wanted to ensure that all children born with clubfoot had access to proper treatment. miraclefeet started operating in 2010. Today it has a small staff based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and an active Board composed of business leaders and concerned parents. miraclefeet also has a Medical Advisory Board composed of leading clubfoot experts.