Introduction: Idiopathic clubfoot or congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV) is managed by the Ponseti method worldwide; however, the recurrence of the deformity is a challenging problem. The purpose was to review the factors associated with early recurrence of CTEV post the Ponseti method.
Materials and Methods: During 2011-2016, 34 infants with 52 CTEV, who underwent the Ponseti method and a minimum follow-up period of six months, were reviewed. Twenty-two infants (65%) were male, and 18 infants (53%) had bilateral CTEV. Recurrence of CTEV was defined as a reappearance of at least one of the four components of the deformity. The association between recurrence and factors, including age, gender, bilaterality, family geography, type of principal caregiver, severity at presentation, centre where the Ponseti method was initiated, compliance to foot abduction brace (FAB), practice of stretching exercise, type of FAB, and complications of casting, were evaluated using univariate logistic regression analysis.
Results: The median age at initiation of the treatment was 3.4 (IQR; 2.1-12.6) weeks. A median of six (range; 3-12) casts were required. Tenotomy was performed in 32/34 (94%) of cases. Recurrence occurred in 14/52 feet (27%) at an average follow-up period of 2.3±1.1 years. Noncompliance to FAB protocol began at an average age of 11.2±6.5 months, and significantly increased the risk of recurrence during the weaning phase [OR (95%CI)=8.4 (1.2- 92.4), p=0.03]. Other factors were not associated with the recurrence.
Conclusion: Non-compliance to FAB occurred early during the treatment and related to a risk of recurrence of CTEV. Physicians should encourage the parents and/or guardians to follow the protocol to decrease the risk of recurrence.
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