Correction of Arthrogrypotic Clubfoot With a Modified Ponseti Technique

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van Bosse H. J. P., Marangoz S., Lehman W. B., Sala D. A.

CLINICAL ORTHOPAEDICS AND RELATED RESEARCH, vol.467, no.5, pp.1283-1293, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Surgical releases for arthrogrypotic clubfeet have high recurrence rates, require further surgery, and result in short, painful feet. We asked whether a modified Ponseti technique could achieve plantigrade, braceable feet. Ten patients (mean age, 16.2 months; range, 3-40 months), with 19 arthrogrypotic clubfeet, underwent an initial percutaneous Achilles tenotomy to unlock the calcaneus from the posterior tibia followed by weekly Ponseti-style casts. A second percutaneous Achilles tenotomy was performed in 53%. Mean number of casts was 7.7 (range, 4-12). From pretreatment to completion of initial series of casts, mean scores of Dimeglio et al. improved from 16 to 5 (ranges, 12-18 and 2-9, respectively), Catterall scores (as modified by Pirani and colleagues) from 4.8 to 0.9 (ranges, 1.5-6.0 and 0.0-2.0), and maximum passive dorsiflexion from -45A degrees (range, -75A degrees to -20A degrees) to 10A degrees (range, 0A degrees to 40A degrees). Ankle-foot orthoses maintained correction. At the minimum followup of 13 months (mean, 38.5 months; range, 13-70 months), the mean maximum dorsiflexion was 5A degrees (range, -20A degrees to 20A degrees), two patients had posterior releases and no patient's ambulatory ability was compromised by foot shape. Arthrogrypotic clubfeet can be corrected without extensive surgery during infancy or early childhood. Limited surgery may be required as the children age.