Article

Idiopathic congenital clubfoot: Initial treatment

Pediatric Orthopedics Department, Clocheville Hospital, Tours University Hospital, 37044 Tours, France. Electronic address: .
Orthopaedics & Traumatology Surgery & Research (Impact Factor: 1.17). 01/2013; 99(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.otsr.2012.11.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Clubfoot (talipes equinovarus) is a three-dimensional deformity of unknown etiology. Treatment aims at correction to obtain a functional, plantigrade pain-free foot. The "French" functional method involves specialized physiotherapists. Daily manipulation is associated to immobilization by adhesive bandages and pads. There are basically three approaches: the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, the Robert-Debré and the Montpellier method. In the Ponseti method, on the other hand, the reduction phase using weekly casts usually ends with percutaneous tenotomy of the Achilles tendon to correct the equinus. Twenty-four hour then nighttime splinting in abduction is then maintained for a period of 3 to 4 years. Recurrence, mainly due to non-compliance with splinting, is usually managed by cast and/or anterior tibialis transfer. The good long-term results, with tolerance of some anatomical imperfections, in contrast with the poor results of extensive surgical release, have led to a change in clubfoot management, in favor of such minimally invasive attitudes. The functional and the Ponseti methods reported similar medium term results, but on scores that were not strictly comparable. A comparative clinical and 3D gait analysis with short follow-up found no real benefit with the increasingly frequent association of Achilles lengthening to the functional method (95% to 100% initial correction). Some authors actually suggest combining the functional and Ponseti techniques. The Ponseti method seems to have a slight advantage in severe clubfoot; if it is not properly performed, however, the risk of failure or recurrence may be greater. "Health economics" may prove decisive in the choice of therapy after cost-benefit study of each of these treatments.

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Available from: Joseph Fournier, May 15, 2015
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