Tag Archives: Clubfoot

Special Parents Confidential 52 Ponseti Method of Clubfoot Treatment

Ponseti Method of Clubfoot Treatment

Clubfoot, or talipes equinovarus, is a treatable birth defect that affects approximately 150,000-200,000 children each year. When clubfoot occurs the foot is twisted inward and down. For decades the standard treatment for clubfoot consisted of performing radical surgery on the tendons and bones of an infant’s feet.

In the mid 1940s, Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa, began reviewing the results of the surgical treatments of clubfoot that were commonly used at the time. His findings were not encouraging. He discovered that, in adulthood, former surgical patients often experienced foot stiffness, pain, arthritis, and limited mobility, and in many cases required additional surgery.

The Ponseti Method.

By studying the anatomy and functions of a baby’s foot, Dr. Ponseti developed a non-surgical method to correct clubfoot in infants through gentle manipulation of the feet followed by the application of plaster casts. In 1948, Dr. Ponseti began using what has now become known as the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment. 

Our guest for this episode has a great deal of experience with the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment. Dr. Jose Morcuende is a professor of orthopedic surgeries at the Ponseti Clubfoot Clinic at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospitals. 

Dr. Morcuende trained directly with Dr. Ponseti and has helped to promote the Ponseti Method around the world through the Ponseti International Association, of which he is the President at CEO. He talks about working with Dr. Ponseti, how clubfoot affects children born with it, and the success rate of the Ponseti Method. Dr. Morcuende also talks about the mission of the Ponseti International Association, and the importance of finding a doctor who has been fully trained in the Ponseti Method.

Links Mentioned In This Podcast.

Clubfoot – University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital 

Ponseti International Association 

To Parents of Children Born With Clubfeet – Article written for parents by the late Dr. Ponseti explaining his method of treatment.

Glossary of Terms From Ponseti International Association – Glossary of some of the common medical terms used by doctors when treating clubfoot.

Special Parents Confidential Episode 39 All About Clubfoot

All About Clubfoot.

Clubfoot is one of the most common birth defects and can cause serious disabilities for those born with it. The foot can be turned severely inward so that, if untreated, a child will start to walk on their ankles, or in some cases, on the tops of their feet.

For over a century or more treatments for clubfoot consisted of small casts or EFO boots and radical surgery to the bones and tendons of the foot. This treatment was done without fully understanding how the bones, tendons, and muscles of the foot grow and develop over the years. People who are given this type of treatment are left with feet that appear straight, but typically develop arthritis and have difficulties in walking as early as age 20.

However, in the past fifty years a new treatment has emerged for Clubfoot that typically avoids any surgery and instead corrects the foot with manipulation, casts, and a brace bar. It’s known as the Ponseti Method of treating clubfoot, and it’s proven to be highly effective with an over 85 percent success rate.

Our guest for this episode is Dr. Michael David, who is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Specialists of West Michigan. Dr. David is certified in the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment. He talks about how Dr. Ignacio Ponseti developed his non-surgical treatment for clubfoot and how the treatment works. He also talks about the training a physician goes through to become certified in the Ponseti Method of Clubfoot treatment, and what parents should know when looking for a physician who is certified in the Ponseti Method.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Foot and Ankle Specialists of West Michigan 

Dr. David’s Profile on the FASWM Website 

To The Parents of a Child Born With Clubfoot – Article from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital written by Dr. Ponseti explaining his treatment methods.

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