The Ponseti method of treatment for congenital clubfeet has gained widespread clinical acceptance. We have used manipulation, serial casting, and surgery to treat congenital clubfeet for almost 3 decades. Considering the Ponseti method of treatment to replace our traditional treatment method a randomized controlled trial evaluating the short-term outcome of the two treatment protocols. Foot function and applied a standardized measure of health status for children with orthopaedic problems was evaluated. Nineteen patients (28 feet) were included in the trial. Nine infants (12 feet) were assigned to the Ponseti treatment group, and 10 (16 feet) were assigned to a group with initial casting and posteromedial release at the age of 6 to 8 months. The minimum followup was 3.3 years. At last followup the mean Functional Rating score was higher in the Ponseti group. Passive dorsiflexion and passive inversion-eversion were better in the Ponseti group. PODCI scales were comparable and radiographic outcome measures were similar in both groups.
This trial has documented a favorable short-term outcome for the Ponseti method when compared with a traditional treatment protocol.
Zwick EB, Kraus T, Maizen C, Steinwender G, Linhart WE. Comparison of Ponseti versus surgical treatment for idiopathic clubfoot: a short-term preliminary report. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Oct;467(10):2668-76