Complex Clubfoot Treatment With Ponseti Method


Complex clubfoot is a term used to describe those feet that present after treatment with a short first metatarsal, severe plantar flexion of all metatarsals, rigid equinus, and deep folds through the sole of the foot and above the heel. Ponseti has described a modification of his original technique for the treatment of the deformity. Few series have reported the treatment outcomes of this group of patients. The purpose of this study is to analyze mid-term results and complications of a large multicenter cohort.

Patients with complex clubfoot treated at 6 tertiary-care institutions with a minimum of 1-year follow-up were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic data, previous treatment, number of casts, Achilles tenotomy, recurrences, complications, and additional procedures were documented. The patients were clinically evaluated at the time of presentation, after treatment, and at the last follow-up according to the Pirani score. All variables had a nonparametric distribution and are thus described as median (interquartile range (IQR), minimum-maximum). A comparison between the variables was performed using a Mann-Whitney U test, the change within each group was performed with a Wilcoxon-designated range test. A P-value <0.05 was used to indicate statistical significance.

Ponseti method is safe and effective for the correction of complex clubfeet. Early diagnosis and strict adherence to the Ponseti principles are key to achieve deformity correction. Patients with complex clubfoot require frequent follow-up because of a higher recurrence rate.

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