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Congenital Clubfoot: Early Recognition and Conservative Management for Preventing Late Disabilities


Congenital clubfoot is one of the most common musculoskeletal deformities presenting at birth. Many high risk factors have been associated with clubfoot such as male gender, primiparous mothers and maternal smoking. Accurate understanding of clubfoot pathoanatomy is supposed to be the basis for deformity correction. Prenatal ultrasonography is of reference value in recognizing clubfoot during pregnancy. Neglected clubfoot can eventually cause a noticeable disability and severely influence the quality life in adulthood. Early recognition and treatment are presumed to be the key for prevention of late disabilities. Nowadays, Ponseti method, as one of the conservative treatment regimen, has been widely accepted because of the reported good results of long-term follow-up. However, special attention should be paid to the details in clinical practice for achieving even better correction and a lower rate of relapse. After the complete correction, brace wearing is critical for preventing deformity relapse. Non-compliance or non-adherence with the brace protocol has been considered as the predominant risk factor predisposing to the relapse of clubfoot, which is still a challenging problem. This paper was prepared to give a general introduction about clubfoot, in terms of the importance of early recognition and conservative management, especially Ponseti method, for preventing late disabilities.

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YL was responsible for searching the literature and drafting the manuscript, DZ did the data collection and drafted the part of the manuscript, LZ planned this review and formatted the manuscript, HL did literature reading and analysis, and XY did data collection and interpretated the clinical relevance. YL and DZ contributed equally to this article.

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Correspondence to Li Zhao.

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Liu, Y., Zhao, D., Zhao, L. et al. Congenital Clubfoot: Early Recognition and Conservative Management for Preventing Late Disabilities. Indian J Pediatr 83, 1266–1274 (2016).

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  • Clubfoot
  • Early recognition
  • Ponseti method
  • Disability prevention