Evaluation of the utility of the Ponseti method of correction of clubfoot deformity in a developing nation.
Gupta A, Singh S, Patel P, Patel J, Varshney MK.
Int Orthop. 2008 Feb;32(1):75-9.
Clubfoot is the commonest congenital deformity in babies. More than 100,000 babies are born worldwide each year with congenital clubfoot. Around 80% of the cases occur in developing nations. We treated 154 feet [mean Pirani score (total) 5.57] in 96 children (78 males, 18 females) by the Ponseti method from January 2003 to December 2005. A prospective follow-up for a mean duration of 19.5 months (range 6-32 months) was undertaken. After six months of treatment the Pirani score was reduced to zero for all patients. The results show that corrective surgery, sometimes multiple, can be avoided in most cases which are usually associated with the development of a stiff, painful foot. Low socio-economic status and illiteracy prevailing in developing nations increases the prevalence of neglected clubfoot that is still harder to correct. Integration into various programs and proper use of available resources can decrease neglected clubfoot and improve chances of successful and timely correction of deformity. Bracing constitutes an important part of treatment and proper motivation and education of the parents mitigates the chances of losing correction. The Ponseti method of correcting clubfoot is especially important in developing countries, where operative facilities are not available in the remote areas and well-trained physicians and personnel can manage the cases effectively with cast treatment only.