Efficacy of Ponseti Technique in Virgin and Relapsed Clubfeet: A Comparative Study

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Doubts still loom over the effectiveness of Ponseti casting in treating children with recurrent clubfeet. We have undertaken this study to confirm whether excellent results obtained in treating virgin clubfeet by Ponseti casting can be reproduced with equal success in relapsed clubfeet. The patients were divided into 2 groups; Group I was untreated children with congenital clubfeet younger than 1 year of age (21 feet) and Group II was children with relapsed congenital clubfeet younger than 2 years of age (21 feet). The Ponseti method was applied with equal success in both groups. Groups I (virgin) and II (recurrent) were similar in terms of number of casts, period of immobilization, and successful initial correction. We did not find statistically significant differences (p value = .75) when comparing the number of casts required for correcting deformity in virgin (mean 6.3) and relapsed group (mean 5.5). The Pirani score improved significantly after treatment from 4.3 to a post-treatment value of 0.4 (p < .001) in recurrent clubfeet and from 5.4 to 0.31 (p < .001) in virgin clubfeet. The results of our study suggest that excellent initial correction of deformity can be achieved without the need for an extensive soft tissue release in more than 95% of children with recurrent clubfeet.Level of Clinical Evidence: 4

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