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Current Issue - November 2023, Volume 17, Issue No. 3

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Outcomes of Management of Severe Clubfoot among Children by Ilizarov External Fixator


Introduction: Clubfoot remains the most common birth defect involving the musculoskeletal system. There are various surgical and non-surgical treatment options available for the management of clubfoot. Using the minimally invasive Ilizarov external fixator method has been reported to have good success rates and fewer complications.

Materials and methods: This study aimed at analysing the morphological and functional outcomes of treating severe clubfoot by Ilizarov external fixator among children from July 2017 to March 2020. Thirty-two children who had either failed Ponseti / surgery or neglected with 44 clubfeet of Dieglio type III and type IV were included in the study. A short-leg walking cast was applied for an additional six weeks after removing of Ilizarov frame and additionally followed by an orthosis for another six weeks. Outcomes were measured by the functional rating system by Laaveg and Ponseti and interpretation done at 1 month and 12 months after the ankle-foot arthrosis.

Results: About 86.4% of the patients had good or excellent outcome scores. Pre and post-Demeglio scores and functional rating scores were statistically significant (p<0.001) by using Paired t-test. Complications included superficial pin site infections in 13 feet (29.54%), 5 feet (11.36%) had claw toes, 3 feet (6.81%) had linear skin necrosis and 2 feet (4.54%) had calcaneal fractures which were manageable with minor interventions.

Conclusion: The study findings highlighted that the Ilizarov external fixator method can correct complex foot deformities of severe clubfoot with minimum morbidity. Further larger and long-term studies are needed to investigate the effects of the stiff hindfoot and possible degenerative changes on the function and symptoms of these patients as adults.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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