Please be reassured that your child is very likely to be successfully treated using the Ponseti Method. Minimal or no surgery should be necessary, except in the most complicated cases (less than 5%). Our recommendation is to talk to a Ponseti-trained doctor as soon as possible. Treatment should ideally start 7-10 days after birth.
What to expect from treatment
The Ponseti Method is based on a deep understanding of the anatomy of the foot. Treatment using Dr. Ponseti’s approach will in most cases involve 5-8 weeks of manipulations and castings. The foot is precisely and gently manipulated and then placed in a long leg (toe to groin) plaster cast. The cast should be well molded around the foot.
The cast is removed after 5-7 days and the process repeated. The foot should be in a fully corrected position after 5-6 casts.
Most children will then require a tenotomy, a simple procedure to release the tightness in the heel usually done using local anesthesia. Three weeks later the last cast is taken off.
The child will wear a foot abduction brace, a simple bar and shoes device, that keeps the feet in a set position to prevent relapse. The brace is worn for 23 hours a day for the first 3 months and then at night and during naps for 4-5 years. The brace prevents the corrected feet from relapsing. Bracing is the only statistically significant factor in relapse, so this phase of treatment is extremely important. Although many parents worry about their child tolerating the brace, most people find the children get used to it quickly and learn to kick, crawl, stand up and even walk in the brace.
The foot should be in the correct position after 5-7 casts if the Ponseti Method is being done correctly. Surgeons with only limited experience in using the Ponseti Method should not attempt clubfoot corrections. More damage can be done if the castings are not done accurately.
We have collected several valuable sites, online communities and publications to help you understand clubfoot. View Clubfoot Resources for Parents
Ponseti International Association
The global leader in training and educating healthcare providers on the treatment for congenital clubfoot. Visit the Ponseti International Association website
Global Clubfoot Initiative
Resources for health care practitioners treating clubfoot in developing countries. Visit the Global Clubfoot Initiative website
No Surgery For Clubfoot Group
A Yahoo! group with more than 4,000 members discussing non-surgical treatment of clubfoot. Visit the Yahoo! Group Page