Extended Ponseti method for failed tenotomy in idiopathic clubfeet: a pilot study

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We evaluated the outcome of a new protocol of an extended Ponseti method in the management of idiopathic club foot with residual equinus following failed Achilles tenotomy. We also compared the failed with a successful tenotomy group to analyze the parameters for failure. The Ponseti technique-treated idiopathic club foot patients with failed percutaneous Achilles tenotomy (failure to achieve <15° dorsiflexion) were treated by continued stretching casts, with a weekly change for a further 3 weeks. Final dorsiflexion more than 15° if achieved with the above protocol was recorded as a success. Twenty-six (16%) patients with failed Achilles tenotomy and residual equinus out of a total of 161 patients with primary idiopathic club foot were tested with the protocol. Ten (38.5%) failed patients had bilateral foot involvement and 16 (61.5%) had unilateral foot involvement. A total of seven (26.9%) patients achieved the end point dorsiflexion of more than 15° in one further cast, 10 (38.5%) in two casts, and four (15.4%) in three casts, respectively. Overall success of the extended Ponseti protocol was achieved in 21/26 (80.8%) patients. The patient’s age, precasting initial Pirani score, number of Ponseti casts, pretenotomy Pirani score, and pretenotomy ankle joint dorsiflexion were statistically different in the failed compared with the successful tenotomy group. The tested extended Ponseti protocol showed a success rate of 80.8% in salvaging failed tenotomy cases. The failed tenotomy group was relatively older at presentation, had high precasting and pretenotomy Pirani scores, received extra number of Ponseti casts, and less pretenotomy ankle joint dorsiflexion compared with successful feet.

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