Pedobarographic Analysis Following Ponseti Treatment for Congenital Clubfoot
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Current methods of treating congenital clubfeet provide high rates of functional outcomes. Despite the clinical outcomes, radiographic assessment suggests residual equinus deformity of the hindfoot. It is unclear whether these deformities result in abnormal foot-floor pressures and whether they correlate with clinical outcome. We evaluated 28 feet in 20 patients following Ponseti treatment for clubfoot by clinical and pedobarographic examination a mean of 33 months after removal of the last cast. The data were compared to age- and weight-matched normal subjects and to the unaffected foot in the unilaterally affected patients. Despite ankle range of motion of 30° and a physiologic hindfoot valgus alignment in 19 cases, pedobarography suggested differences in maximum force, impulse, contact area, and peak pressure compared to normal subjects. Compared to the unaffected foot the only difference was reduced peak pressure over the medial hindfoot and forefoot with increased pressure over the lateral midfoot. Similar to radiographic abnormalities in studies on treated clubfeet with good functional outcome, pedobarographic analyses show differences compared to a control group. The value of pedobarographic analysis for predicting successful treatment of congenital clubfoot is questionable since it does not correlate with the clinical outcome in patients treated with the Ponseti method.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.