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Study finds that newer treatment for clubfoot may be more effective

Posted On Tue, February 2, 2010

A new report by a group of New Zealand doctors has found that a newer form of treating clubfoot in infants may be more effective than traditional methods.

The study, which recently had its results published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, subjected an equal number of clubfoot patients to the two primary forms of treatment for the disorder: the well established surgical method and the newer Ponseti method that is less surgical based.

While the study found that 14 feet that were initially surgically repaired required follow up revision surgery, only one foot that was treated using the Ponseti method - which uses manipulation followed by the cutting of the Achilles tendon to correct the condition -needed any follow up surgeries.

Additionally, the recurrences of symptoms that did occur among Ponseti-treated patients were found to be less severe than one's associated with the surgical treatment, leading the study to conclude that it should be considered as a viable treatment method for clubfoot as well.

For families with a newborn who is stricken with clubfoot, there may be cases in which health insurance plans may not cover a less established treatment method, even though it may be the most viable solution with a lesser risk of recurrences. If such a treatment is required, families should consult with their provider to see what treatments could be covered under their plans and which ones would require extra money

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