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Non-Surgical Clubfoot Treatments Bring High Level of Success
Date:11/3/2008

Two common correction techniques yield positive results

ROSEMONT, Ill., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two non-surgical treatments most commonly used to correct the condition known as clubfoot have similarly high levels of success, according to a new study published in the November 2008 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (http://www.jbjs.org/). While both treatment strategies use different approaches, each brings positive outcomes for most children.

Clubfoot (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00255) is a birth defect that occurs in approximately one in every 1,000 births, with boys slightly outnumbering girls. The exact cause is not known, but the condition does seem to run in families.

When a baby has clubfoot, one or both feet are turned inward, some so severely that the sole of the foot seems to be facing upward. The involved foot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than the normal side. It is not a painful condition, but if it is not treated, clubfoot will cause difficulty when the child learns to walk, and can lead to significant discomfort and disability by the teenage years. The goal of treatment is to correct clubfeet when children are infants, before they learn to walk.

The two non-surgical treatments are:

-- The Ponseti Method

-- The French Functional Method

"These treatments have been around for decades, but they hadn't received wide acceptance," says B. Stephens Richards, M.D., primary author of the study. Dr. Richards is assistant chief of staff and medical director of inpatient services at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the current president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. "Until about 15 years ago, the common treatment for clubfoot was still surgery. However, things began to change with the emergence o
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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