Talipes Equino-Varus (clubfoot) and the Ponseti Method
The Ponseti Method is now the gold standard for treating talipes equino-varus, commonly known as clubfoot. This was developed by Dr. Ignatio Ponseti in the USA, and has improved outcomes for children born with clubfeet worldwide.
Parents of infants born with clubfeet may be reassured that their baby, if otherwise normal, when treated by expert hands will have normal looking feet with normal function for all practical purposes. The well-treated clubfoot is no handicap and is fully compatible with a normal, active life.- Dr. Ponseti.
A baby born with talipes has one or both feet turned all the way inwards so that the sole of the foot is facing up. It is a serious condition requiring specialized treatment to achieve a good outcome.
Treatment involves careful evaluation and serial plaster casting of the feet for several months after birth, followed by minor Achilles Tendon surgery, usually done under a local anaesthetic. The correction that is gained by all the casting and surgery is then maintained by the use of an orthosis. Continued and unwavering use of the orthosis for a number of years will prevent relapse of the clubfoot and allow children to go on to live completely normal lives with no significant foot issues. The orthosis is vital to the prevention of relapse of the deformity and if use is discontinued too early, the chance of relapse and further treatment is likely.
The Orthosis- Boots and Bar
The correction achieved with treatment is maintained by what is called a Foot Abduction Brace (FAB), commonly known as Boots and Bar. The brace is designed to hold the feet up and out at certain angles to prevent relapse of the talipes. It is worn full time for about three months and then only at night for up to five years. It is a long term treatment but well worth it, as the alternative usually means more surgery and loss of function.
We can organise funding that will completely cover the cost of using our braces, so that parents are not out of pocket for the cost of this vital treatment.
We fit a variety of types of FAB. These include Markell Boots, Mitchell Boots, Alfa-Flex systems, Dobbs bars, ADMs, Tiebax and custom-made designs. They are all designed to do the same thing but all have slight differences. Our Orthotists can help you to find the right system for your child.
In some instances when the treating team prescibes it, unilateral talipes can be managed by a custom-made Knee-ankle-Foot Orthosis (KAFO) called a Wheaton Brace, or by an orthotic system such as the ADM brace.
We provide a talipes orthotic service that is second to none, and guarantee our fit with unlimited free appointments for adjustments to our orthoses.