Tag Archives: Disabilities

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 26 Parent Problems

Parent Problems

Parents of special needs children face problems that few others can understand. Extraordinary  joy and crushing despair, sometimes in the same day, the same hour, the same moment. One thing is true, people who relate the best to these moments are other parents of special needs children. We have a bond that, while often unspoken, is a shared knowledge that ‘this is our life’ and we all know exactly what it’s like.

For those who are just starting out on their journey with a special needs child, the fear and uncertainty can be very daunting. How do you cope? Where do you look for help? Who can you trust? And possibly the most important question of all, who understands what this means?

To help answer those questions, Donna Kirk has returned for another interview episode. Donna was my guest in Special Parents Confidential Episode 23, in which she talked about her book, Finding Matthew, the story of her son who was born with severe brain damage. She and her husband, Ed, experienced everything a parent of a special needs child could face. A terrible life-altering diagnosis, years and years of therapies, trying to find help for their son, watching him struggle into adulthood, and finally facing the hardest loss of all, the death of their special needs child.

After we finished the interview for that episode, Donna contacted me again and asked if she could talk about the lessons she learned and how they might help parents who are currently struggling and trying to cope with the emotional rollercoaster that raising a special needs child can cause. Top of the list for any parent, honesty and communication.

For more resources on specific issues, check out our Helpful Links page.

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