Need a PDF reader? Click the icon to get Adobe's free one. News: Now updated to a completely new 3rd Edition in a variety of languages. Thank you to everyone involved with the production of this new edition, especially those, like Dr. Jose Morcuende at Ponseti International , who edited and proof-read the book for up-to-date medical accuracy. Translations of this new 3rd Edition are also underway.

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Clubfoot has from long been an unsolved clinical challenge for the orthopedic surgeons. It is one of the commonest congenital deformities in children. More than , babies are born worldwide each year with congenital clubfoot. Fifty three feet [mean Pirani score total 5.

A prospective follow-up for a mean duration of Evaluation of the deformity by Pirani score and goniometry was performed, before and after the treatment and the results were assessed through Wilcoxon signed rank test. The average number of casts applied before full correction was 4.

There was a significant difference in the pre-treatment and the post-treatment Pirani score and goniometry values. Ponseti method of manipulation and plaster casting is very effective in correcting clubfoot deformity. It is especially important in developing countries and well-trained physicians and health personnel can manage the cases effectively by manipulation and cast application. The problem is more serious in the developing countries on account of late presentation; higher rate of dropouts of treatment and superstitious beliefs attached to this congenital problem.

The literature is abound with wealth of information regarding various modalities of treatment ranging from bandages by Hippocrates and plaster casts by Kite to surgical treatment but still there is no single modality till date that can boast of achieving the ultimate goal of treatment i. Nonsurgical management generally led to inadequate correction whereas those children with idiopathic clubfoot who underwent surgery often developed extensive scarring of the soft tissues and residual pain.

But these statements have been frequently sidelined by those people who use Ponseti method of serial manipulation and casting. Careful evaluation of Ponseti technique and the results of manipulation were done with the aim of;.

Studying the effectiveness of Ponseti's technique of plaster cast application in the management of idiopathic clubfoot. The study was conducted from June to December Forty cases with 53 clubfeet were taken up for the study and were prospectively studied. The Inclusion Criteria were; age less than two years, unilateral or bilateral idiopathic clubfoot and willingness to take part in the study while the Exclusion Criteria were; age more than two years, earlier treated with other methods of plaster cast application, earlier operated for clubfoot, concomitant major illness, atypical or secondary clubfoot and unwillingness to take part in the study.

Patients were evaluated through detailed history and physical examination. They were investigated by routine blood and urine investigations to rule out any accompanying medical or surgical problem. Ponseti 4 technique of manipulation and casting were performed on the cases. The corrective process utilizing the Ponseti technique can be divided into two phases:.

The treatment phase starts as soon as the skin condition of the child permits the use of plaster casts, till that time regular corrective manipulation of the foot by the mother is carried out. The treatment phase starts with the first cast aiming to align the forefoot with the mid foot and hind foot. This is achieved by;. Elevating the first ray to achieve supination of the forefoot in respect to the mid foot and hind foot.

In doing so, the cavus Figure 1 is corrected, typically after one cast. One week later, the first cast is removed and, if the cavus has been corrected, then after a short period of manipulation, the next toe-to-groin plaster cast is applied Figure 2 by:.

Further casts : After correcting the cavus, the foot is moved gradually moved outward. A crucial point in the Ponseti technique is that the heel is never directly manipulated. The correction of heel varus and ankle equinus is takes place simultaneously because of coupling of the tarsal bones. Weekly plasters are applied till we get 70 degrees of abduction in supination.

In the majority of the children treated by Ponseti technique, there is some equinus deformity at ankle which persists. Correction of this residual deformity is accomplished with a percutaneous surgical release of the tendon, which allows the ankle to be positioned at a right angle with the leg Figure 3. This cast is retained for three weeks. Upon removal of the final cast, an orthosis which typically consists of shoes mounted to a bar is used to maintain the foot in its corrected position.

In our study serial plaster casts were given for five weeks as per the schedule of Ponseti. In cases where correction was not achieved the correction casts were continued till 10 th week. At each follow-up, foot was evaluated for deformity correction using the Pirani score and the goniometric assessment of the deformity which was charted on a graph paper.

Achilles tendon tenotomy was performed when the hind-foot score was more than 1 and the mid-foot score was less than 1. After the final cast, all children were given orthosis as described in the Ponseti technique to maintain correction.

The orthosis, was applied for 23 hours per day, for the first three months and then at night time only for two to four years. Once the child started walking, custom made clubfoot shoes were used. Patients not having satisfactory correction at the end of 10 th week were subjected to operative methods of deformity correction.

At the end of the study the results were graded as good, acceptable or poor Table 1 and also the pre and post treatment Pirani's score and goniometry values Table 2 were statistically evaluated by the Wilcoxon signed rank test. A total 40 children [ Fourteen children had bilateral whereas 25 children had unilateral clubfoot.

The total mean score at presentation was 5. The corresponding hind foot score and mid foot score were 2. The majority of cases The average duration of cast application was 4. Tenotomy was required in 50 feet The average duration of follow-up was All the observations regarding severity assessment were grouped into two groups one being the pretreatment group and the other being the final post treatment group. After pairing of the data i.

Each pair was scored in this way. If the null hypothesis is true i. If the average difference is considerably different from 0, the null hypothesis can be rejected 5. In the study while evaluating the pre and post Pirani scores Table 2 and the goniometric measurements by the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, the Z value was away from zero therefore the test was significant i. Recurrence was seen in only two cases.

We were able to achieve good results in 48 clubfeet Clubfoot is a complex deformity of foot that requires meticulous and dedicated efforts on the part of the treating physician and parents for the correction of the deformity. The Ponseti method 1 , 2 , 6 , 7 of correction of clubfoot deformity requires serial corrective casts with long-term brace compliance for maintaining correction.

The guidelines regarding patient selection and treatment protocol vary between investigators 4 , 7 , 8 — 13 but in general the treatment needs to be started as soon as possible and should be followed under close supervision. In this series, the male to female ratio is high male: female in comparison to the series of Cowell and Wein 14 and Yamamoto 15 male: female Palmer 16 explained this by suggesting that females require a greater number of predisposing factors than males to produce a clubfoot deformity.

Social bias and attention towards males in our region can account for the higher incidence in males in our study. The order of birth also seemed to have an influence on the occurrence of clubfoot, with There was no relationship of clubfoot to the type of birth. Of the children with clubfeet who presented to us, We put up clubfoot awareness posters during Pulse Polio programs and trained the supervisors at these camps to screen for the deformity in each child, report those cases and refer them to our hospital as soon as possible.

We also organized special clubfoot clinics, where families of follow up patients shared their experiences with the parents of new patients and assured them about the treatment; simultaneously providing motivation and emphasizing the importance of regular follow up.

Results were better if this method of treatment was started as early as possible after birth. The earliest cast applied was at an age of one week. The maximum age at which a cast was applied was at six months. The number of casts per feet in our study was three to ten average 4. In a series by Ponseti et al 4 , the number of cast per feet was five to ten average 7. In another study by Laaveg et al 13 , the mean number of casts during their treatment was seven.

Morcuende 17 , 18 reported that Over a period of time, with more experience, people have started changing plaster casts at shorter intervals Those feet which required a greater number of casts in our study had a Pirani score of 6 at the onset of treatment. The duration of casts for more than The duration decreased over time as we mastered the technique and started getting better correction early.

Ponseti et al 4 reported five to twelve week's duration of casts average 9. In another study by Laaveg et al 13 , the average duration was 8. Morcuende et al 17 reported an average time from the first cast to tenotomy as 16 days for one group and 24 days for another group in the same study.

Their study showed that the duration of plaster casts can be decreased by using the accelerated Ponseti protocol for clubfoot treatment. In our study, tenotomy was needed in It shows that tenotomy was required in those patients who initially have severe deformity. It is advisable to do tenotomy after achieving forefoot abduction Pirani carried out tenotomy in over Laaveg et al 13 did tenotomy in In a study by Thacker et al 10 , 44 idiopathic clubfeet were treated with cast using the Ponseti method followed by Steenbeek foot abduction brace application.

The feet of patients compliant with the brace, remained better corrected than the feet of those patients who were not compliant. We also used a Steenbeek foot abduction brace in our study. After six months of treatment at the time when patients were on night splints the Pirani score had become zero, indicating successful correction of the clubfoot deformity.

Graphs were plotted for each patient, as recommended by Pirani. The Ponseti method is an excellent method of treatment of clubfoot 8 — 10 , 11 — 13 , 15 —


Ponseti Technique in the Treatment of Clubfoot

Ignacio V. Ponseti can be credited with developing a comprehensive technique for treating congenital clubfoot in the s. One of the major principles of this technique is the concept that the tissues of a newborn's foot, including tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, and certain bones, will yield to gentle manipulation and casting of the feet at weekly intervals. By applying this technique to clubfeet within the first few weeks of life, most clubfeet can be successfully corrected without the need for major reconstructive surgery. This technique is based upon Ponseti's experiences with the wide variety of treatments being applied at that time and his observations in the clinic and operating room, as well as his anatomic dissections and analysis by using a movie camera to produce radiographic images. Utilizing these principles and his understanding of clubfoot anatomy, Dr.


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The Ponseti method is a manipulative technique that corrects congenital clubfoot without invasive surgery. It was developed by Ignacio V. It is a standard treatment for club foot. Ponseti treatment was introduced in UK in the late s and widely popularized around the country by NHS physiotherapist Steve Wildon. The manipulative treatment of clubfoot deformity is based on the inherent properties of the connective tissue, cartilage, and bone, which respond to the proper mechanical stimuli created by the gradual reduction of the deformity.


Using the Ponseti technique to correct talipes (clubfoot)

Clubfoot is a birth defect that makes one or both of a baby's feet point down and turn in. Surgery used to be the main treatment for clubfoot, but orthopedic surgeons doctors who focus on conditions of the bones, muscles, and joints now prefer the Ponseti method. This is done in two phases:. Casting usually starts when a baby is a week or two old. The baby will wear a series of 5 to 7 casts over a few weeks or months. When the foot is in its final, correct position, the baby is fitted with a brace.


Clubfoot: Ponseti Management

Clubfoot is a deformity in which an infant's foot is turned inward, often so severely that the bottom of the foot faces sideways or even upward. Approximately one infant in every 1, live births will have clubfoot, making it one of the more common congenital present at birth foot deformities. Clubfoot is not painful during infancy. However, if your child's clubfoot is not treated, the foot will remain deformed, and he or she will not be able to walk normally.

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