Ponseti casting: A NEW SOFT OPTION.
Brewster MB, Gupta M, Pattison GT, Dunn-van der Ploeg ID.
J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 Nov;90(11):1512-5
We have modified the Ponseti casting technique by using a below-knee Softcast instead of an above-knee plaster of Paris cast. Treatment was initiated as soon as possible after birth and the Pirani score was recorded at each visit. Following the manipulation techniques of Ponseti, a below-knee Softcast was applied directly over a stockinette for a snug fit and particular attention was paid to creating a deep groove above the heel to prevent slippage. If necessary, a percutaneous Achilles tenotomy was performed and casting continued until the child was fitted with Denis Browne abduction boots. Between April 2003 and May 2007 we treated 51 consecutive babies with 80 idiopathic club feet with a mean age at presentation of 4.5 weeks (4 days to 62 weeks). The initial mean Pirani score was 5.5 (3 to 6). It took a mean of 8.5 weeks (4 to 53) of weekly manipulation and casting to reach the stage of percutaneous Achilles tenotomy. A total of 20 feet (25%) did not require a tenotomy and for the 60 that did, the mean Pirani score at time of operation was 2.5 (0.5 to 3). Denis Browne boots were applied at a mean of 10 weeks (4 to 56) after presentation. The mean time from tenotomy to boots was 3.3 weeks (2 to 10). We experienced one case of cast-slippage during a period of non-attendance, which prolonged the casting process. One case of prolonged casting required repeated tenotomy, and three feet required repeated tenotomy and casting after relapsing while in Denis Browne boots. We believe the use of a below-knee Softcast in conjunction with Ponseti manipulation techniques shows promising initial results which are comparable to those using above-knee plaster of Paris casts.