Clubfoot is the most common congenital birth defect of the legs, in which a baby’s foot is turned inward and downward. This malformation requires surgery or months of physical therapy to correct. Evidence is growing that SSRIs, antidepressants, Depakote, Depakene, and other medications increase a woman’s risk of having a child with this birth defect. Mothers are filing lawsuits against the drug-makers because they were not warned about the serious side-effects linked to these drugs.
Do I Have a Clubfoot Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Symbyax, Effexor, Depakote, Depakene, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Clubfoot lawsuit.
What drugs have been linked to Clubfoot?
Are you pregnant, considering having a child, or breastfeeding? Tell your doctor about all prescription medications, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, herbal supplements, and dietary supplements — some have been linked to serious birth defects, including clubfoot. Do not start or stop taking any medication before consulting a physician, especially if you are taking antidepressants. Depression is a serious illness.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: A number of clinical studies have established the link between Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), antidepressant medications, and serious birth defects in babies born to women who took these drugs during pregnancy (especially Wellbutrin / bupropion).
SSRIs and antidepressants include:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Anti-Seizure Medications – The group of medications (usually prescribed to prevent seizures, for manic-depressive episodes, migraine headaches, and other mood conditions) has been linked to birth defects, according to new research. Drugs in this group include:
- Depakote CP
- Depakote ER
“Clubfoot” (medical term: “talipes equinovarus”) is a broad term for a range of foot birth defects that results in the foot turning inward and downward. It is a relatively common congenital defect that is present at birth, occurring in roughly one out of 1,000 live births, more frequently in boys than girls. It is the most common birth defect of the leg. The term “clubfoot” refers to the way the foot is positioned, at a sharp angle, like the head of a golf club. It can be mild or severe, and affect one foot or both feet.
Defects of the feet can be either positional deformities or malformations. Positional deformities occur when the parts of the foot are formed normally, but positioned incorrectly. Malformations occur when parts are formed incorrectly. Clubfoot is considered a malformation, because the bones, joints, and blood vessels are abnormally formed.
About half of all clubfoot cases affect both feet.
Signs & Symptoms of Clubfoot
Clubfoot may be diagnosed before the baby is born, during an ultrasound. It does not cause complications with birth. After the baby is born, symptoms are obvious. The foot, calf, and leg are shorter and smaller than they should be. Symptoms include:
- top of the foot twisting downward and inward
- upside down appearance of the foot
- underdeveloped calf muscles
- affected foot shorter than the other
- foot cannot be brought to normal position
It is not a painful condition, unless left untreated. A person who must walk with clubfoot will likely suffer from arthritis and an awkward gait.
Treatment & Prognosis
Nonsurgical treatment: With advances in modern medicine, nonsurgical treatment is become more and more common. In a technique known as a the Ponseti method, the foot and calf are gradually stretched and a cast is placed on the foot. Every week, the doctor stretches the foot and changes the cast. Another option is the French method, in which the foot is stretched and then taped into the correct position. Once the foot is in the correct position, the child must wear a brace every night for two years. Although this technique has been shown to be effective, it requires a lot of parental involvement in placing the braces every single night. If the braces are not placed, the foot will return to its deformed position. The goal of this treatment is to have the foot in a normal position when the child is learning to walk.
Surgical treatment: Sometimes the tendons and ligaments need to be surgically repaired. This is usually performed when the child is between the ages of 9 months and one year. After surgery, the foot is placed into a cast while it heals, to ensure that the foot heals in the correct position. Prognosis after surgery is good, and the child will be able to run, walk, and play as normal, though the foot may be stiffer than with non-surgical treatment.
No treatment: Without treatment, clubfoot will worsen and result in severe disability by the time the child is an adolescent. It may become arthritic, which is a painful condition. Furthermore, the unusual appearance may harm the child’s body image during adolescence. Untreated, the person’s gait will be very different from a normal walking gait. The ankle will remain twisted, and the foot will have a limited range of motion. The person may walk on the sides or top of the foot, and wounds may develop that can lead to infection.
Following treatment, most children will be able to walk, run, and play like normal children. However, a corrected clubfoot will not be the same as a normal foot. The calf muscles will probably stay smaller, and the affected foot will probably be 1 to 1.5 shoe-sizes smaller than the normal foot.
Do I Have a Clubfoot Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Clubfoot lawsuit.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more that 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Clubfoot birth defect lawsuit review.