Background. Clubfoot has from long been an unsolved clinical challenge for the orthopedic surgeons. It is one of the commonest congenital deformities in. The Ponseti method is a manipulative technique that corrects congenital clubfoot without invasive surgery. It was developed by Ignacio V. Ponseti of the. Using the Ponseti method, the foot deformity is corrected in stages. These stages are as follows: manipulating the foot to an.

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Clubfoot is a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards. The exact cause is plnseti unclear. Initial treatment is most often with the Ponseti method. Clubfoot occurs in about 1 in 1, newborns.

In clubfoot, one or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards. There are many hypotheses about how clubfoot develops.

Research has not ponweti pinpointed the root cause, but many findings agree that “it is likely there is more than one different cause and at least in some cases the phenotype may occur as a result of a threshold effect of different factors acting together.

Some researchers hypothesize, from the early development stages of humans, that clubfoot is formed by a malfunction during gestation. Early amniocentesis 11—13 wks is believed to increase the rate of clubfoot because there is an increase in potential amniotic leakage from the procedure.

The Ponseti Method: Casting Phase

In the early s, it was thought that constriction of the foot by the uterus contributed to the occurrence of clubfoot. Underdevelopment of the bones also affects the muscles and tissues of the foot. Abnormality in the connective tissue causes “the presence of increased fibrous tissue in muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendon sheaths”.

These can cause congenital contractures, including clubfoot, in distal arthrogryposis DA syndromes. Genetic mapping and the development of models of the disease have improved understanding of developmental processes. Its inheritance pattern is explained as a heterogenous disorder using a polygenic threshold model.

Diagnosis of clubfoot deformity is by physical examination. Typically, a newborn is examined shortly after delivery with a head to toe assessment.

Examination of the lower extremity and foot reveals the deformity, which may affect one or both feet. Examination of the foot shows four components of deformity. A foot that shows all four components is diagnosed as having clubfoot deformity.

These four components of a clubfoot deformity can be remembered with the acronym CAVE cavus, forefoot adductus, varus and equinus. The severity of the deformity can also be assessed on physical exam, but is subjective to quantify. One way to assess severity is based on the stiffness of the deformity or how much it can be corrected with manual manipulation of the foot to bring it into a corrected position.

Other factors used to assess severity include the presence of skin creases in the arch and at the heel and poor muscle consistency. In some cases, it may be possible to detect the disease prior to birth during a prenatal ultrasound.

Prenatal diagnosis by ultrasound can allow parents the opportunity to get information about this condition and make plans for treatment after their baby is born. Other testing and imaging is typically not needed. Further testing may be needed if there are concerns for other associated conditions.


Treatment is usually with some combination of the Ponseti or French methods. The Ponseti method has been found to be effective in correcting the problem in those under the age of two. Using the Ponseti method, the foot deformity is corrected in stages. These stages are as follows: The foot position usually improves over a course of 4—6 casts. The amount of casts varies from person to person to address each individual’s characteristic needs.

After correction has been achieved with casting, maintenance of correction starts with full-time 23 hours per day use of a brace —also known as a foot abduction brace FAB —on both feet, regardless of whether the TEV is on one side or both, typically full-time for 3 months. After 3 months, brace wear is decreased and used mostly when sleeping for naps and at night-time.

This part-time bracing is recommended until the child is 4 years of age. A recurrence can usually be managed with repeating the casting process. Recurrence is more common when there is poor compliance with the bracing, because the muscles around the foot can pull it back into the abnormal position.

Patients with this imbalance are more prone to recurrence. After 18 months of age, this can be addressed with surgery to transfer the anterior tibialis tendon from it medial attachment the navicula to a more lateral position the lateral cuneiform to rebalance these muscle forces. While this requires a general anesthetic and subsequent casting while the tendon heals, it is a relatively minor surgery that corrects a persistent muscle imbalance while avoiding disturbance to the joints of the foot.

The French method for treatment of clubfoot is a conservative method of treatment of a newborn which requires daily physical therapy for the first two months. The goal of this treatment is to avoid future need of surgery, but the success rate varies and after release surgery may still be necessary. The treatment includes daily manipulations of the feet along with stretching of the feet, followed by taping in order to maintain the range of motion gains achieved at the end of each session.

The French method differs from the Ponseti method in that the taping techniques allow some motion in the feet. Another focus is to strengthen the peroneal muscles which is thought to contribute towards long-term correction. After the two month mark physical therapy sessions can be weaned down to three times per week instead of daily until the child reaches six months old. Parents are required to continue on with home exercises and night splinting even after the program has achieved proper foot correction in order to maintain the correction.

The Ponseti method is generally preferred. If non-operative treatments are unsuccessful or achieve incomplete correction of the deformity, surgery is sometimes needed.

Surgery was more common prior to the widespread acceptance of the Ponseti Method. The extent of surgery depends on the severity of the deformity. Usually, surgery is done at 9 to 12 months of age and the goal is to correct all the components of the clubfoot deformity at the time of surgery.

For feet with the typical components of deformity cavus, forefoot adductus, hindfoot varus, and ankle equinusthe typical procedure is a Posteromedial Release PMR surgery. This is done through an incision across the medial side of the foot and ankle, that extends posteriorly, and sometimes around to the lateral side of the foot.


Typically, the important structures are exposed and then sequentially released until the foot can be brought to an appropriate plantigrade position.

Specifically, it is important to bring the ankle to neutral, the heel into neutral, the midfoot aligned with the hindfoot navicula ponseeti with the talus, and the cuboid aligned ponssti the calcaneus. Once these joints can be aligned, thin wires are usually placed across these joints to hold them in the corrected position. These wires are temporary and left out through the skin for removal after 3—4 weeks.

Once the joints are aligned, tendons typically the Achilles, posterior tibialis, and flexor halluces longus are repaired at an appropriate length. The incision or incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.

Ponseti method – Wikipedia

The foot is then casted in the corrected position for 6—8 weeks. It is common to do a cast change with anesthesia after 3—4 weeks, so that pins can be removed and a mold can be made to fabricate a custom AFO brace. The new cast is left in place until the AFO is available. When the cast is removed, the AFO is worn to prevent the foot from returning to the old position.

For feet with partial correction of deformity with non-operative treatment, surgery may be less extensive and may involve only the posterior part of the foot and ankle. This might be called a posterior release. This is done through a smaller incision and may involve releasing only the posterior capsule of the ankle and subtalar joints, along with lengthening the Achilles tendon. Surgery leaves residual scar tissue and typically there is more stiffness and weakness than with nonsurgical treatment.

As the foot grows, there is potential for asymmetric growth that can result in recurrence of foot deformity that can affect the forefoot, midfoot, or hindfoot. Many patients do fine, but some require orthotics or additional surgeries.

Long-term studies of adults with post-surgical clubfeet, especially those needing multiple surgeries, show that they may not fare as well in the long term, according to Dobbs, et al. Treatment of clubfoot is evident as early as Egyptian paintings.

In early days, [ when? Hippocrates around B. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Clubfoot disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Journal of paediatrics and child health. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Archived from the original on 15 October Retrieved 15 October Journal of pediatric orthopedics.

Can clubfoot be diagnosed in utero? Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; Archived from the original on The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Acquired musculoskeletal deformities M20—M25, M95— Winged scapula Adhesive capsulitis Rotator cuff tear Subacromial bursitis. Cubitus valgus Cubitus varus. Wrist drop Boutonniere deformity Swan neck deformity Mallet finger. Protrusio acetabuli Coxa valga Coxa vara. Luxating patella Chondromalacia patellae Patella baja Patella alta.

Cleidocranial dysostosis Sprengel’s deformity Wallis—Zieff—Goldblatt syndrome.