The Ponseti method of treating club foot has been shown to be effective in children up to two years of age. However, it is not known whether it is successful in older children. We retrospectively reviewed 17 children (24 feet) with congenital idiopathic club foot who presented after walking age and had undergone no previous treatment. All were treated by the method described by Ponseti, with minor modifications. The mean age at presentation was 3.9 years (1.2 to 9.0) and the mean follow-up was for 3.1 years (2.1 to 5.6). The mean time of immobilisation in a cast was 3.9 months (1.5 to 6.0).
A painless plantigrade foot was obtained in 16 feet without the need for extensive soft-tissue release and/or bony procedures. Four patients (7 feet) had recurrent equinus which required a second tenotomy. Failure was observed in five patients (8 feet) who required a posterior release for full correction of the equinus deformity.
We conclude that the Ponseti method is a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for neglected idiopathic club foot presenting after walking age.