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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2003 Sep-Oct;42(5):259-67.

Evaluation of the treatment of idiopathic clubfoot by using the Ponseti method.

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Department of Orthopedics and Podiatry, San Francisco Bay Area Foot and Ankle Residency, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, USA.


The initial treatment of congenital idiopathic talipes equinovarus (clubfoot) is most often nonsurgical. However, surgical treatment in the form of posteromedial release is often undertaken after failure of conservative measures. The prevalence of both immediate and long-term complications in surgically treated clubfeet has cultivated a renewed interest in nonsurgical treatment. The Ponseti method for treating clubfoot has seen a revived interest among those caring for infantile clubfeet. We report on our first 34 infants (57 clubfeet) treated by using the techniques and principles described by Ponseti. Using a standard scoring system, 54 of 57 clubfeet were successfully corrected without requiring posteromedial release. Only 2 patients (3 clubfeet) required extensive surgical correction. There were 6 relapses. In all recurrent cases, there was a lack of compliance with the straight-last shoe and foot abduction bar regimen. Based on this level of initial success, we believe that posteromedial release is no longer necessary for the majority of cases of congenital clubfeet.

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