Can Repeated Ponseti Management for Relapsed Clubfeet Produce the Outcome Comparable With the Case Without Relapse? A Clinical Study in Term of Gait Analysis

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The prevention and treatment of relapsed clubfoot remained challenging tasks. There were controversies as to treatment options and management, such as complete subtalar release, application of an Ilizarov external frame, or repeated Ponseti method; and different options were available in different treatment centers. This study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcome of relapsed clubfeet treated by repeated Ponseti method in comparison with the cases without relapse in term of gait analysis and to clarify the clinical efficacy of repeated Ponseti method in treating the relapsed clubfeet.


Thirty-seven patients (53 feet) were retrospectively identified from our database according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Among the 37 patients, 17 cases (25 relapsed clubfeet) were assigned to group I, whereas 20 cases (28 clubfeet without relapse) were assigned to group II. Clinical examination, gait analysis, and kinematic gait deviation criteria from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children were used for evaluation.


There was statistically significant difference in the parameters of foot length, stride length, and single limb support time (%gait cycle) between the 2 groups (P<0.05). No statistically significant difference was found in the kinematic parameters of total hip, knee, and ankle excursion, peak knee and ankle flexion and extension, and internal foot progression (P>0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in peak hip, knee, and ankle flexion moment, peak knee valgus moment, and peak ankle power (P>0.05). No statistically significant difference was found in equinus and calcaneus gait, increased ankle dorsiflexion, foot drop, and internal foot progression angle (P>0.05).


Repeated Ponseti method for relapsed clubfeet can yield good or excellent clinical results. We recommend repeated Ponseti method as the treatment choice for relapsed clubfeet in the early stage.

Level of Evidence:

Level III—retrospective comparative study.

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