[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current trends in the treatment of idiopathic clubfoot have shifted from extensive surgical release to more conservative techniques. The purpose of the present study was to prospectively compare the results of the Ponseti method with those of surgical releases for the correction of clubfoot deformity.
We prospectively compared patients who had idiopathic clubfoot deformities that were treated at a single institution either with the Ponseti method or with below-the-knee casting followed by surgical release. The clinical records of the patients with a minimum duration of follow-up of two years were reviewed. All scheduled and completed operative interventions and associated complications were recorded.
Fifty-five patients with eighty-six clubfeet were treated; forty feet were included in the group that was treated with the Ponseti method, and forty-six feet were included in the group that was treated with below-the-knee casts followed by surgery (with three of these feet requiring casting only). There was no difference between the groups in terms of sex, ethnicity, age at the time of first casting, pretreatment Pirani score (average, 5.2 in both groups), or family history. The average number of casts was six in the Ponseti group and thirteen in the surgical group. Of the feet that were treated with below-the-knee casts, forty-three underwent surgery, with forty-two undergoing major surgery (posterior release [eleven] or posteromedial release [thirty-one]). In the Ponseti group, fourteen feet required fifteen operative interventions for recurrences, with only one foot requiring revision surgery. Four of these fifteen were major (necessitating posterior [one] or posteromedial release [three]) while eleven were minor. Thirteen feet in the surgical group required fourteen surgical revisions. Two postoperative complications were seen in each group.
While both cohorts had a relatively high recurrence rate, the Ponseti cohort was managed with significantly less operative intervention and required less revision surgery. The Ponseti method has now been adopted as the primary treatment for clubfoot at our institution.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both private and socialized healthcare systems require treatments to be not only effective, but also cost-efficient. Although the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment is effective, its cost-effectiveness has not been demonstrated. We compared the difference in resource use between two prospective cohorts treated for clubfoot by either the Ponseti method or below-knee casting followed by primary surgical release in the socialized healthcare system of New Zealand. Using these cohorts and US billing data, costs of treating these cohorts in the US healthcare system were also calculated. Treatment of initial deformity, recurrences, and complications in both cohorts were included in the final assessment. Twenty-six patients (40 feet) were enrolled in the Ponseti cohort and 29 (46 feet) in the primary surgical cohort. For most patients, the Ponseti method was more cost-effective than the primary surgical treatment in both healthcare systems. The cost of treating both cohorts was lower in the socialized system than in the US healthcare system.
Level of Evidence: Level II, prognostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research