Brace Yourselves: Outcomes of Ponseti Casting and Foot Abduction Orthosis Bracing in Idiopathic Congenital Talipes Equinovarus


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Abstract

Background:Foot abduction orthoses (FAO) are believed to decrease recurrence following treatment of congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV) as described by Ponseti. The purpose of this project is to examine the outcomes of FAO bracing following treatment by the Ponseti method in a cohort of idiopathic CTEV patients.Methods:After IRB approval, a cohort of patients aged 3 to 46 days with idiopathic CTEV was identified in a previous prospective study of brace compliance by family report and sensor. Dimeglio score and family demographic information were collected. Initial treatment was by the Ponseti method, with or without Achilles tenotomy. Following correction, patients had three months of full-time FAO bracing during which parents kept a log of compliance. Patients were followed until recurrence (need for further treatment) or age 5.Results:In total, 42 patients with 64 affected feet met the above criteria and were included in the final analysis. Twenty-six feet (40%) went on to develop recurrence requiring further treatment, including casting, bracing, or surgery. Because of poor tolerance of the original FAO, 20 feet were transitioned to an alternative FAO, and 14 of these (70%) went on to recur (P<0.01). The casting duration (P=0.02) had a statistically significant relationship to recurrence. Patients who were casted for 9 weeks or more had a higher rate of recurrence (57.1% vs. 27.8%; P=0.02). Age at treatment start, Dimeglio score, demographic factors, and compliance during full-time bracing, whether by report or sensor, did not show a significant relationship with recurrence.Conclusions:The study showed a statistically significant relationship between the difficulty of CTEV correction and the risk of recurrent deformity requiring treatment. This relationship could be used to provide prognostic information for patients’ families. Caregiver-reported compliance was not significantly related to recurrence.Level of Evidence:Level III—Prognostic Retrospective Cohort Study.

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