Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

Symposium: Clubfoot: Etiology and Treatment 30 articles


Towards Effective Ponseti Clubfoot Care: The Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project

Shafique Pirani FRCSC, Edward Naddumba MMed, Richard Mathias FRCPC, Joseph Konde-Lule PhD, J. Norgrove Penny FRCSC, Titus Beyeza MMed, Ben Mbonye FRCS, Jackson Amone MPH, Fulvio Franceschi MD, MSc Neglected clubfoot is common, disabling, and contributes to poverty in developing nations. The Ponseti clubfoot treatment has high efficacy in correcting the clubfoot deformity in ideal conditions but is demanding on parents and on developing nations’ healthcare systems. Its effectiveness and the best method of care delivery remain unknown in this context. The 6-year Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project (USCCP) aims to build the Ugandan healthcare system’s capacity to treat children with the Ponseti method and assess its effectiveness. We describe the Project and its achievements to date (March 2008). The Ugandan Ministry of Health has approved the Ponseti method as the preferred treatment for congenital clubfoot in all its hospitals. USCCP has trained 798 healthcare professionals to identify and treat foot deformities at birth. Ponseti clubfoot care is now available in 21 hospitals; in 2006–2007, 872 children with clubfeet were seen. USCCP-designed teaching modules on clubfoot and the Ponseti method are in use at two medical and three paramedical schools. 1152 students in various health disciplines have benefited. USCCP surveys have (1) determined the incidence of clubfoot in Uganda as 1.2 per 1000 live births, (2) gained knowledge surrounding attitudes, beliefs, and practices about clubfoot across different regions, and (3) identified barriers to adherence to Ponseti treatment protocols. USCCP is now following a cohort of treated children to evaluate its effectiveness in the Ugandan context.,[object Object]

Talonavicular Fusion for Dorsal Subluxation of the Navicular in Resistant Clubfoot

Vineeta T. Swaroop MD, Dennis R. Wenger MD, Scott J. Mubarak MD Dorsal rotatory subluxation of the navicular, a common sequela of resistant surgically treated clubfeet, presents a challenging treatment problem. This subluxation typically progresses after posteromedial release. Patients develop a cavovarus foot deformity and complain of pain, gait problems, and difficulty with shoe wear. Previous attempts at soft tissue release and reduction have been largely unsuccessful. We reviewed 13 patients with dorsal rotatory subluxation of the navicular treated with talonavicular arthrodesis. The minimum followup after surgery was 6 months (average, 36 months; range, 6 to 93 months). At last followup 12 of 13 patients were symptom-free. The mean preoperative subluxation of 42% was reduced to a mean of 6% at last followup. We noted improvement in the talo-first metatarsal angle from an average of 18º preoperatively to 8º postoperatively. One patient treated by another surgeon with attempted talonavicular arthrodesis developed a nonunion; we observed no other complications. We believe talonavicular arthrodesis a reasonable option to correct the deformity and symptoms associated with dorsal rotatory subluxation of the navicular in a single surgical setting with a low complication rate.,[object Object]

Tibialis Anterior Tendon Transfer after Clubfoot Surgery

George H. Thompson MD, Harry A. Hoyen MD, Tracey Barthel MD Recurrent dynamic and structural deformities following clubfoot surgery are commonly due to residual muscle imbalance from a strong tibialis anterior muscle and weak antagonists. We asked whether subcutaneous tibialis anterior tendon transfer effectively treated recurrent deformities following clubfoot surgery and whether the presence of structural deformities influenced the outcome. The patients were divided into two groups: Group I, dynamic supination deformity only (51 patients, 76 feet); and Group II, dynamic supination with other structural deformities (44 patients, 61 feet). The mean age at surgery was 4.3 years (range, 1.4–10.7 years); the minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 5.2 years; range, 2–12.5 years) for both groups. The results were graded according to our subjective rating system of restoration of muscle balance: good, restoration of muscle balance; fair, partial restoration of muscle balance; and poor, no improvement. The two groups had similar outcomes: in Group I, there were 65 good (87%), 11 fair (13%), and no poor results and in Group II, there were 54 good (88%), seven fair (12%), and no poor results. Our data suggest the tibialis anterior tendon transfer restores muscle balance in recurrent clubfeet; we observed no recurrences. This transfer improves function and may prevent secondary osseous changes. We believe the muscle imbalance supports, at least in part, the neuromuscular etiological aspects of congenital clubfeet.,[object Object]

Combined Lateral and Transcuneiform without Medial Osteotomy for Residual Clubfoot for Children

Arjandas Mahadev MD, Ismail Munajat MD, Azura Mansor MD, James H. P. Hui MD Residual deformity in resistant clubfoot is not uncommon. The “bean-shaped foot” exhibits forefoot adduction and midfoot supination and may interfere with function due to poor foot placement. For children less than 5 years of age we describe a corrective procedure combining a closing wedge cuboidal osteotomy and trans-midfoot rotation procedure without a medial opening wedge osteotomy. We retrospectively reviewed twelve patients (14 feet), mean age 4.7 years (range, 4–5 years), who had undergone the procedure to correct forefoot adduction and midfoot supination deformities. We obtained minimal access via a small lateral skin incision. Cuboid lateral wedge osteotomy was followed by transcuneiform osteotomy using a Kirschner wire as a guide under an image intensifier. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 2.6 years; range, 2–3.2 years). All patients had qualitative improvement in correction of adduction and supination deformities. Radiographically there was an improvement in adduction deformity, the mean anteroposterior talo-first metatarsal and calcaneo-fifth metatarsal angles improved by 28° (from 40° to 12°) and by 11° (from 21° to 10°). The supination improved by 11° (from 19° to 8°) and the cavus improved by 17° (from 30° to 13°). The short-term outcome was reliable and this combination is useful for children younger than 5 years old where the medial cuneiform ossification center remained poorly defined.,[object Object]

Clubfoot Treatment: Ponseti and French Functional Methods are Equally Effective

Shawne Faulks RN, MSN, CNS, B. Stephens Richards MD Over the past 15 years, the reemergence of nonoperative treatment of clubfeet throughout the world has been profound. Two methods have been utilized—the Ponseti method and, to a lesser extent, the French functional method. Our review presents one institution’s experience using both methods. Satisfactory initial correction was achieved in 95% of idiopathic clubfeet, regardless of method. However, maintenance of the correction was challenging as relapses occurred in 37% of feet treated by the Ponseti method and 29% of feet treated by the French functional method. At an average 4.3 year followup, using either method, posteromedial releases were avoided in 84% of our patients. Using gait analysis to evaluate the function of children treated with these techniques, there was no difference in cadence parameters between the two groups. More of the children treated with the French method walked with knee hyperextension, a mild equinus gait, and mild footdrop. In contrast, more of the patients in the Ponseti group demonstrated mildly increased stance-phase dorsiflexion and a calcaneus gait.,[object Object]

The Association between Idiopathic Clubfoot and Increased Internal Hip Rotation

John P. Howlett MD, Vincent S. Mosca MD, Kristie Bjornson PhD, PT Clinical observation suggests the coexistence of increased internal hip rotation in limbs with clubfoot, thereby providing an additional, and perhaps overlooked, site of deformity to account for an intoeing gait in these limbs. Furthermore, assuming a genetic basis exists for exaggerated femoral and/or acetabular anteversion, which are the possible cause(s) for increased internal hip rotation, this association could provide another key to the multifactorial etiology of clubfoot. We asked whether such an association exists and retrospectively reviewed 114 children (178 clubfeet). We then tested for an association between clubfoot and increased internal hip rotation. These rotational measurements were compared with published normative data on torsion in children. In cases of unilateral clubfoot, an additional analysis compared the rotational profiles of the affected and unaffected extremities. Increased internal hip rotation occurred more frequently in limbs with idiopathic clubfoot. In patients with unilateral clubfoot, the affected extremities manifested greater internal hip rotation than the unaffected extremities, whereas the latter showed no difference in internal hip rotation compared with normative values. Clinical evaluation of intoeing in children with a history of clubfoot should include a rotational profile to determine the level(s) of deformity and guide therapeutic intervention.,[object Object]

Pedobarographic Analysis Following Ponseti Treatment for Congenital Clubfoot

Marc F. Sinclair MD, Kerstin Bosch PhD, Dieter Rosenbaum PhD, Stephanie Böhm MD Current methods of treating congenital clubfeet provide high rates of functional outcomes. Despite the clinical outcomes, radiographic assessment suggests residual equinus deformity of the hindfoot. It is unclear whether these deformities result in abnormal foot-floor pressures and whether they correlate with clinical outcome. We evaluated 28 feet in 20 patients following Ponseti treatment for clubfoot by clinical and pedobarographic examination a mean of 33 months after removal of the last cast. The data were compared to age- and weight-matched normal subjects and to the unaffected foot in the unilaterally affected patients. Despite ankle range of motion of 30° and a physiologic hindfoot valgus alignment in 19 cases, pedobarography suggested differences in maximum force, impulse, contact area, and peak pressure compared to normal subjects. Compared to the unaffected foot the only difference was reduced peak pressure over the medial hindfoot and forefoot with increased pressure over the lateral midfoot. Similar to radiographic abnormalities in studies on treated clubfeet with good functional outcome, pedobarographic analyses show differences compared to a control group. The value of pedobarographic analysis for predicting successful treatment of congenital clubfoot is questionable since it does not correlate with the clinical outcome in patients treated with the Ponseti method.,[object Object]

Update on Clubfoot: Etiology and Treatment

Matthew B. Dobbs MD, Christina A. Gurnett MD, PhD Although clubfoot is one of the most common congenital abnormalities affecting the lower limb, it remains a challenge not only to understand its genetic origins but also to provide effective long-term treatment. This review provides an update on the etiology of clubfoot as well as current treatment strategies. Understanding the exact genetic etiology of clubfoot may eventually be helpful in determining both prognosis and the selection of appropriate treatment methods in individual patients. The primary treatment goal is to provide long-term correction with a foot that is fully functional and pain-free. To achieve this, a combination of approaches that applies the strengths of several methods (Ponseti method and French method) may be needed. Avoidance of extensive soft-tissue release operations in the primary treatment should be a priority, and the use of surgery for clubfoot correction should be limited to an “a la carte” mode and only after failed conservative methods.,[object Object]

Is it Possible to Treat Recurrent Clubfoot with the Ponseti Technique After Posteromedial Release?: A Preliminary Study

Monica Paschoal Nogueira MD, Anna Maria Ey Batlle MD, Cristina Gomes Alves MD The Ponseti technique for treating clubfoot has been popularized for idiopathic clubfoot and more recently several syndromic causes of clubfoot. We asked whether it could be used to treat recurrent clubfoot following failed posteromedial release. We retrospectively reviewed 58 children (83 clubfeet) treated by the Ponseti technique for recurrent deformity after posteromedial release in three centers. The minimum followup was 24 months (average, 45 months; range, 24–80 months). We determined initial and final Pirani scores and range of motion of the ankle and subtalar joint. Plantigrade and fully corrected feet were obtained in 71 feet (86%); 11 feet obtained partial correction; one patient failed treatment and underwent another posteromedial release. Recurrences occurred in nine patients (12 feet or 14%). Initial Pirani scores improved in all but one patient; severity of deformity was also inferred by number of casts used for treatment. The age at treatment and numbers of casts did not influence the scores of Pirani et al. The scores were similar among the three orthopaedic surgeons.,[object Object]

What Proportion of Patients Need Extensive Surgery After Failure of the Ponseti Technique for Clubfoot?

R. Baxter Willis MD, FRCSC, Mazen Al-Hunaishel MD, Luis Guerra MD, MSc, Ken Kontio MD, FRCSC In 1948, Professor Ignacio Ponseti began a nonoperative management form of treatment for severe talipes equinovarus. This method of manipulative treatment became attractive because long-term outcomes demonstrated the majority of feet were pain-free, plantigrade, and functioning at a high level of activity without evidence of degenerative arthrosis. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 51 children (31 boys and 20 girls; 72 feet) with idiopathic clubfeet deformity treated with the Ponseti method from January 5, 2002, to January 5, 2007. The median age at treatment was 2 weeks (95% confidence limit, 1–2 weeks); there was no difference in age at presentation between boys and girls. The minimum followup was 4 months (mean, 19.8 months; range, 4–48 months). A total of 288 casts were applied (mean, 5.5; standard deviation, 0.92). Successful treatment was defined as a plantigrade foot with a normal hindfoot, midfoot, and forefoot on clinical examination. Correction was achieved and maintained in 90% (65 of 72) of the feet; 10% (seven of 72) of the treated feet did not improve and needed subsequent surgery. There was no difference in the proportion of children who had tenotomy or previous treatment among those who presented with residual deformity or recurrence or had surgery. However, patients who tolerated bracing had lower recurrence rates and underwent less surgery.,[object Object]

Gait Analysis after Initial Nonoperative Treatment for Clubfeet: Intermediate Term Followup at Age 5

Lori A. Karol MD, Kelly Jeans MS, Ron ElHawary MD We conducted gait analysis following initial nonoperative clubfoot treatment to compare lower extremity kinematic (eg, ankle motion) and kinetic (eg, ankle power) characteristics between patients treated as infants with Ponseti casting or French physical therapy. This is a followup report of gait characteristics at age 5 years in patients who had previously been tested at age 2 years. One hundred-twenty five clubfeet in 90 patients (34 feet only Ponseti treatment, 40 only French PT, and 51 feet initial nonoperative treatment followed by surgery) were included. The gait characteristics were compared to those of age-matched normal control subjects. Ankle equinus during gait occurred in 5% of feet treated with the French method and none of those treated by the Ponseti method. Increased stance phase ankle dorsiflexion persisted in 24% of feet treated by the Ponseti method. Intoeing was seen in 1/3 of both the French and Ponseti methods. Ankle push-off power was decreased compared to normal in patients treated by both methods, and even more so in operated feet. The presence or absence of Achilles tenotomy did not affect ankle power. Gait characteristics of feet that did not have surgery and maintained correction were superior to those of operated feet.

Evaluation of CAND2 and WNT7a as Candidate Genes for Congenital Idiopathic Clubfoot

William Shyy BA, Frederick Dietz MD, Matthew B. Dobbs MD, Val C. Sheffield MD, PhD, Jose A. Morcuende MD, PhD Congenital idiopathic clubfoot is a common pediatric musculoskeletal deformity with no known etiology. The deformity reportedly follows a Mendelian pattern of inheritance. Recent work has demonstrated linkage in chromosome 3 and 13 in a large, multigeneration, highly penetrant family with idiopathic clubfoot. From the linkage region on chromosome 3, we selected the candidate genes CAND2 and WNT7a, which are involved in lower extremity development, and hypothesized mutations in these genes would be associated with the phenotype of congenital idiopathic clubfoot. The CAND2 gene was sequenced in 256 clubfoot patients, and 75 control patients, while WNT7a was screened using 56 clubfoot patients and 50 control patients. We found a polymorphism in each gene, but the single nucleotide change in CAND2 was a silent mutation that did not alter the amino acid product, and the single nucleotide change in WNT7a was in the upstream, non-coding or promoter region before the start codon. Based on these results it is unlikely CAND2 and WNT7a are the major genes that causes clubfoot, however WNT7a might be one of many genes that could increase susceptibility to develop clubfoot but do not directly cause it.

Evaluation of a Disease-specific Instrument for Idiopathic Clubfoot Outcome

Frederick R. Dietz MD, Margaret C. Tyler MA, MSW, Kecia S. Leary DDS, Peter C. Damiano DDS, MPH In 2001, Roye et al. developed a disease-specific instrument (DSI) to measure outcomes of treatment for clubfoot. We assessed this instrument using a cohort of 62 patients, ages 5 through 12 years (mean, 8.6 years), with idiopathic clubfoot who were treated as infants by various methods. Treatment groups were defined by whether the patient received joint-invasive surgery (posterior or posteromedial release surgery) or joint-sparing treatment only (manipulation and casting with or without tendo-Achilles lengthening or anterior tibial tendon transfer). The DSI scales demonstrated internal consistency reliability of 0.74 to 0.85 using Cronbach’s alpha. Higher (better) DSI scores were associated with “excellent” general health ratings and better health-related quality of life; lower DSI score were related to special healthcare needs. Patients treated using joint-sparing techniques only (eg, Ponseti technique) had higher DSI scores than those who had received joint-invasive surgery. DSI scores for patients who had received posterior or posterior medial release surgery were very similar to those reported by Roye et al. in New York for a comparable group of patients. Our findings suggest the DSI is sensitive to differences in treatment technique or underlying severity of disease. These data support the use of the Roye DSI as an outcome measure for idiopathic clubfoot in children.,[object Object]

CT Study on the Effect of Different Treatment Protocols for Clubfoot Pathology

Pasquale Farsetti MD, Fernando Maio MD, Laura Russolillo MD, Ernesto Ippolito MD In congenital clubfoot, residual deformities are not well-documented and they may change depending on different treatments. To identify the treatment that provides better outcome at maturity, we studied the computed tomography of two cohorts of patients affected with congenital clubfoot who were treated using two distinct protocols. Forty-seven clubfeet were treated according to the traditional protocol of our hospital and 61 were treated according to the Ponseti technique. The normal feet of the unilateral deformities served as controls. All patients were followed to skeletal maturity. The ankle torsion angle and the declination angle of the neck of the talus were higher than normal but different only in patients treated with the traditional method. The calcaneocuboid angle was lower but only in patients treated with the Ponseti method. The shape of the talar joints was altered in many feet regardless of protocol. The CT images suggest the modifications of the torsion angle of the ankle, the declination angle of the neck of the talus, and the calcaneocuboid angle at maturity are related to the treatment protocol followed. The Ponseti manipulative technique provided better anatomical results in comparison to our traditional technique.

Ponseti Method: Does Age at the Beginning of Treatment Make a Difference?

Cristina Alves MD, FEBOT, Carolina Escalda MD, Pedro Fernandes MD, FEBOT, Delfin Tavares MD, M. Cassiano Neves MD The Ponseti method is reportedly effective for treating clubfoot in children up to 9 years of age. However, whether age at the beginning of treatment influences the rate of successful correction and the rate of relapse is unknown. We therefore retrospectively reviewed 68 consecutive children with 102 idiopathic clubfeet treated by the Ponseti technique in four Portuguese hospitals. We followed patients a minimum of 30 months (mean, 41.4 months; range, 30–61 months). The patients were divided into two groups according to their age at the beginning of treatment; Group I was younger than 6 months and Group II was older than 6 months. All feet (100%) were initially corrected and no feet required extensive surgery regardless of age at the beginning of treatment. There were no differences between Groups I and II in the number of casts, tenotomies, success in terms of rate of initial correction, rate of recurrence, and rate of tibialis anterior transference. The rate of the Ponseti method in avoiding extensive surgery was 100% in Groups I and II; relapses occurred in 8% of the feet in younger and older children.,[object Object]

Skeletal Muscle Contractile Gene (TNNT3, MYH3, TPM2) Mutations Not Found in Vertical Talus or Clubfoot

Christina A. Gurnett MD, PhD, Farhang Alaee MD, David Desruisseau BS, Stephanie Boehm MD, Matthew B. Dobbs MD Arthrogryposis presents with lower limb contractures that resemble clubfoot and/or vertical talus. Recently, mutations in skeletal muscle contractile genes MYH3 (myosin heavy chain 3), TNNT3 (troponin T3), and TPM2 (tropomyosin 2) were identified in patients with distal arthrogryposis DA2A (Freeman-Sheldon syndrome) or DA2B (Sheldon-Hall syndrome). We asked whether the contractile genes responsible for distal arthrogryposis are also responsible for cases of familial clubfoot or vertical talus. We determined the frequency of MYH3, TNNT3, and TPM2 mutations in patients with idiopathic clubfoot, vertical talus, and distal arthrogryposis type 1 (DA1). We resequenced the coding exons of the MYH3, TNNT3, and TPM2 genes in 31 patients (five with familial vertical talus, 20 with familial clubfoot, and six with DA1). Variants were evaluated for segregation with disease in additional family members, and the frequency of identified variants was determined in a control population. In one individual with DA1, we identified a de novo TNNT3 mutation (R63H) previously identified in an individual with DA2B. No other causative mutations were identified, though we found several previously undescribed single-nucleotide polymorphisms of unknown importance. Although mutations in MYH3, TNNT3, and TPM2 are frequently associated with distal arthrogryposis syndromes, they were not present in patients with familial vertical talus or clubfoot. The TNNT3 R63H recurrent mutation identified in two unrelated individuals may be associated with either DA1 or DA2B.,[object Object]

Mechanical Properties of Human Fetal Talus

Roza Mahmoodian MS, Jeremi Leasure BS, Hemanth Gadikota MS, Franco Capaldi PhD, Sorin Siegler PhD [object Object]

Beta-catenin Mediates Soft Tissue Contracture in Clubfoot

Raymond Poon MSc, Catherine Li PhD, Benjamin A. Alman MD The contracted tissues from clubfeet resemble tissues from other fibroproliferative disorders such as palmar fibromatosis. Beta-catenin-mediated signaling is a crucial pathway controlling the fibroproliferative response in many fibroproliferative disorders. To determine if beta-catenin signaling plays a role in clubfoot, contracted and less contracted tissues from clubfeet were studied using Western analysis to determine the protein level of beta-catenin. Primary cell cultures were established from these tissues, and they were treated with either lithium to increase beta-catenin or Dickkopf-1 to inhibit beta-catenin. RNA was extracted from the cells and analyzed to determine how beta-catenin regulates expression of Type III collagen, an extracellular matrix protein upregulated in contracted clubfoot tissue. There was a more than twofold increase in beta-catenin protein in the contracted tissues. Treatment with either lithium or Dickkopf-1 showed Type III collagen RNA expression positively correlated with the protein level of beta-catenin. These data support the concept that beta-catenin-mediated signaling plays an important role regulating contracture in clubfeet. Because pharmacologic agents are under development to block this signaling pathway, such drugs could be used in cases of severe stiffness to improve range of motion or to decrease the need for radical surgical approaches.

The Drop Toe Sign: An Indicator of Neurologic Impairment in Congenital Clubfoot

Eric W. Edmonds MD, Steven L. Frick MD Nine patients presenting during infancy were identified with clubfeet and absent anterior and lateral compartment functions. We considered these to be neurogenic clubfeet. All patients had the drop toe sign: resting posture of the toes in plantarflexion and absent active dorsiflexion movement after plantar stimulation of the foot. Two patients (three feet) underwent exploration of the peroneal nerve, which revealed anatomic abnormalities. Six patients required more casts than typical for initial correction of deformity; all but two had Achilles tenotomy. Four relapsed despite full-time bracing and eventually needed intraarticular surgery to achieve a plantigrade foot. Idiopathic absent peroneal nerve function is not a well-described entity in the clubfoot literature. All babies with clubfoot should be examined for the drop toe sign. When noted, the feet will likely be more difficult to correct initially, may need early Achilles tendon lengthening, will likely need permanent bracing, are likely to relapse and need intraarticular surgery, and may need multiple surgeries to remain plantigrade throughout growth.,[object Object]

Correction of Arthrogrypotic Clubfoot With a Modified Ponseti Technique

Harold J. P. Bosse MD, Salih Marangoz MD, Wallace B. Lehman MD, Debra A. Sala MS, PT Surgical releases for arthrogrypotic clubfeet have high recurrence rates, require further surgery, and result in short, painful feet. We asked whether a modified Ponseti technique could achieve plantigrade, braceable feet. Ten patients (mean age, 16.2 months; range, 3–40 months), with 19 arthrogrypotic clubfeet, underwent an initial percutaneous Achilles tenotomy to unlock the calcaneus from the posterior tibia followed by weekly Ponseti-style casts. A second percutaneous Achilles tenotomy was performed in 53%. Mean number of casts was 7.7 (range, 4–12). From pretreatment to completion of initial series of casts, mean scores of Dimeglio et al. improved from 16 to 5 (ranges, 12–18 and 2–9, respectively), Catterall scores (as modified by Pirani and colleagues) from 4.8 to 0.9 (ranges, 1.5–6.0 and 0.0–2.0), and maximum passive dorsiflexion from −45° (range, −75° to −20°) to 10° (range, 0° to 40°). Ankle-foot orthoses maintained correction. At the minimum followup of 13 months (mean, 38.5 months; range, 13–70 months), the mean maximum dorsiflexion was 5° (range, –20° to 20°), two patients had posterior releases and no patient’s ambulatory ability was compromised by foot shape. Arthrogrypotic clubfeet can be corrected without extensive surgery during infancy or early childhood. Limited surgery may be required as the children age.

Ponseti Treatment for Idiopathic Clubfoot: Minimum 5-year Followup

Noam Bor MD, Julie A. Coplan DSc, PT, John E. Herzenberg MD, FRCSC Ponseti clubfoot treatment has become more popular during the last decade. We reviewed the medical records of 74 consecutive infants (117 club feet) who underwent Ponseti treatment. Minimum followup was 5 years (mean, 6.3 years; range, 5–9 years). We studied age at presentation, previous treatment, the initial severity score of the Pirani scoring system, number of casts, need for Achilles tenotomy or other surgical procedures, and brace use. We measured final ankle motion and parents’ perception of outcome. Late presentation and previous non-Ponseti treatment were associated with lower initial severity score, fewer casts, and less need for tenotomy. Forty-four percent of patients had poor brace use. We observed better brace use (75%) in babies who presented late for treatment. Good brace use predicted less need for extensive surgical procedures. Twenty-four (32%) babies underwent additional surgical procedures other than tenotomy, including 21% who underwent tibialis anterior tendon transfer. At followup, 89% of feet had adequate dorsiflexion (5° or greater). Parents indicated high satisfaction with the treatment results. Ankle motion was not associated with parents’ satisfaction. The Ponseti method is effective, even if treatment starts late or begins after failure at other centers. Brace use influenced the success of treatment.,[object Object]

Resource Utilization in Clubfoot Management

Matthew A. Halanski MD, Jen-Chen Huang MBChB, Stewart J. Walsh FRACS, Haemish A. Crawford FRACS Both private and socialized healthcare systems require treatments to be not only effective, but also cost-efficient. Although the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment is effective, its cost-effectiveness has not been demonstrated. We compared the difference in resource use between two prospective cohorts treated for clubfoot by either the Ponseti method or below-knee casting followed by primary surgical release in the socialized healthcare system of New Zealand. Using these cohorts and US billing data, costs of treating these cohorts in the US healthcare system were also calculated. Treatment of initial deformity, recurrences, and complications in both cohorts were included in the final assessment. Twenty-six patients (40 feet) were enrolled in the Ponseti cohort and 29 (46 feet) in the primary surgical cohort. For most patients, the Ponseti method was more cost-effective than the primary surgical treatment in both healthcare systems. The cost of treating both cohorts was lower in the socialized system than in the US healthcare system.,[object Object]

Magnetic Resonance Angiography in Clubfoot and Vertical Talus: A Feasibility Study

Lisa Kruse BS, Christina A. Gurnett MD, PhD, David Hootnick MD, Matthew B. Dobbs MD Congenital vascular alterations of the normal adult arterial pattern have been associated with multiple congenital limb deformities including clubfoot and vertical talus. Investigators have observed absence of the anterior tibial artery and dorsalis pedis artery in most patients with clubfoot, and absence of the posterior tibial artery in all patients with vertical talus. We used magnetic resonance angiography to define the lower extremity vascular anatomy of two patients with left-sided vertical talus and right-sided clubfoot and one patient with bilateral vertical talus and cartilage-derived morphogenetic protein-1 (CDMP-1) gene mutation. Of the three patients, one had bilateral posterior tibial artery deficiencies while the other had bilateral anterior tibial artery deficiencies. The third patient with bilateral vertical talus and CDMP-1 mutation had normal arterial structure bilaterally. Though clubfoot and vertical talus have distinctly different clinical phenotypes, the association of each with arterial abnormalities suggests a common etiology during development. The presence of normal arterial structure in our patient with vertical talus and CDMP-1 mutation suggests that other nonvascular etiologies may be responsible for some cases of foot deformities.,[object Object]

The Recurrent Clubfoot: Can Gait Analysis Help Us Make Better Preoperative Decisions?

Wudbhav N. Sankar MD, Susan A. Rethlefsen PT, Jennifer Weiss MD, Robert M. Kay MD Gait patterns in children with recurrent clubfoot are often associated with more or less subtle factors contributing to the patterns, such as tibial torsion that might not be detected by visual observation and therefore not considered in a treatment plan. We therefore used gait analysis to elucidate the contributions to recurrent clubfoot deformity and to determine whether gait analysis could be important in preoperative decision-making for these patients. We reviewed all 35 patients (56 feet) referred to our gait laboratory for recurrent deformity following treatment of idiopathic clubfoot. The average age of the children in our series was 6.7 years (range, 3.6–15.4 years). Data were acquired from computerized motion analysis, dynamic electromyography, and static measurements by a physical therapist. We found a high incidence of transverse plane deformities including intoeing in 45 of 56 feet (80%), internal tibial torsion in 40 of 56 feet (71%), and forefoot adductus in 40 of 56 feet (71%). Forty feet were supinated in stance; of these patients, 28 (70%) had overactive tibialis anterior muscle activity based on dynamic EMG. Dynamic compensatory hip external rotation was present in 28 of 56 (50%) of limbs. Thirty of the 35 patients underwent surgery following gait analysis; the most common procedures included split anterior tibial tendon transfers (34), tibial derotational osteotomies (34), and midfoot osteotomies (20). Quantitative gait analysis resulted in 28 changed procedures in 19 of 30 patients (63%) compared to prestudy surgical plans.,[object Object]

Correcting Residual Deformity Following Clubfoot Releases

Ken N. Kuo MD, Peter A. Smith MD There are many possible pitfalls of clubfoot releases and it is important to recognize the problems and provide proper timely treatment. Late residual deformity following clubfoot releases include: dynamic or stiff supination and forefoot adduction deformities, intoeing gait, overcorrection, rotatory dorsal subluxation of the navicular, vascular insult to the talus with collapse, and dorsal bunion. We reviewed 134 clubfeet in 95 children who had primary clubfoot releases between 1988 and 1991. In general, the patients who underwent surgery before 6 months of age had poorer results compared with older children. Twenty-one feet (15.7%) underwent additional procedures. The most common additional procedure was split anterior tibial tendon transfer. Not all patients with residual deformities underwent additional procedures. In treating recurrent and residual deformity following a clubfoot surgery, it is most important to keep function in mind. From this series of patients treated with comprehensive clubfoot release, we have identified the most common residual deformities encountered after the initial release and effective surgical treatment when necessary.,[object Object]

Ponseti Method for Untreated Idiopathic Clubfeet in Nepalese Patients From 1 to 6 Years of Age

David A. Spiegel MD, Om P. Shrestha MS, Prakash Sitoula MS, Tarun Rajbhandary MS, Binod Bijukachhe MS, Ashok K. Banskota MD, FACS Although the Ponseti method has been effective in patients up to 2 years old, limited information is available on the use of this method in older patients. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 171 patients (260 feet) to determine whether initial correction of the deformity (a plantigrade foot) could be achieved using the Ponseti method in untreated idiopathic clubfeet in patients presenting between the ages of 1 and 6 years. A mean of seven casts was required, and there were no differences in the number of casts between the different age groups. Two hundred fifty (95%) of the 260 feet were treated surgically for residual equinus after a plateau in casting, and procedures included percutaneous tendo-Achilles release (n = 205 [79%]), open tendo-Achilles lengthening (n = 8 [3%]), posterior release (n = 21 [8%]), and extensive soft tissue release (posteromedial release, n = 16 [6%]). The mean dorsiflexion after removal of the last cast was 12.5° for the entire group and was greater in 1 year olds compared with 3 year olds. Although all patients achieved a plantigrade foot, the importance of the mild loss of passive dorsiflexion remains to be determined. An extensive soft tissue release was avoided in 94% of patients using the Ponseti method. We intend a followup study to ascertain whether the correction is maintained.,[object Object]