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Acta Orthop. 2017 Jun;88(3):305-309. doi: 10.1080/17453674.2017.1294416. Epub 2017 Mar 7.

Guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of primary idiopathic clubfoot.

Author information

a The Dutch Orthopaedic Association (Nederlandse Orthopaedische Vereniging, NOV).
b Dutch Parents' Association for children with clubfoot (Nederlandse Vereniging Klompvoetjes, NVK).
c Catharina Hospital , Eindhoven.
d Knowledge Institute of Medical Specialists (Kennisinstituut van Medisch Specialisten).


- A delegation of 6 pediatric orthopedic surgeons from the Dutch Orthopedic Association (NOV) and 2 members of the board of the Dutch Parents' Association for children with clubfoot created the guideline "The diagnosis and treatment of primary idiopathic clubfeet" between April 2011 and February 2014. The development of the guideline was supported by a professional methodologist from the Dutch Knowledge Institute of Medical Specialists. This evidence-based guideline process was new and unique, in the sense that the process was initiated by a parents' association. This is the first official guideline in pediatric orthopedics in the Netherlands, and to our knowledge it is also the first evidence-based guideline on clubfoot worldwide. The guideline was developed in accordance with the criteria of the international AGREE instrument (AGREE II: Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II). The scientific literature was searched and systematically analyzed. In the second phase, conclusions and recommendations in the literature were formulated according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) method. Recommendations were developed considering the balance of benefits and harms, the type and quality of evidence, the values and preferences of the people involved, and the costs. The guideline is a solid foundation for standardization of clubfoot treatment in the Netherlands, with a clear recommendation of the Ponseti method as the optimal method of primary clubfoot treatment. We believe that the format used in the current guideline sets a unique example for guideline development in pediatric orthopedics that may be used worldwide. Our format ensured optimal collaboration between medical specialists and parents, and resulted in an important change in clubfoot care in the Netherlands, to the benefit of medical professionals as well as parents and patients. In this way, it is possible to improve professional collaboration between medical specialists and parents, resulting in an important change in clubfoot care in the Netherlands that will benefit medical professionals, parents, and patients. The guideline was published online, and is freely available from the Dutch Guideline Database ( ).

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