A critical review of interventions for clubfoot in low and middle-income countries: effectiveness and contextual influences

J Pediatr Orthop B. 2012 Jan;21(1):59-67. doi: 10.1097/BPB.0b013e3283499264.


Inadequate treatment provision for clubfoot in many low and middle-income countries results in a high prevalence of neglected clubfoot, a condition causing severe impairment. This study critically reviewed evidence on surgical, conservative and mixed (Ponseti) treatment interventions for clubfoot in low and middle-income countries. Intervention effectiveness was analysed by comparing outcomes within International Classification of Functioning groupings. Contextual factors were qualitatively analysed for effect on intervention outcomes. The Ponseti method appeared to be more effective than conservative techniques but was not directly comparable with surgical techniques. Contextual factors were reported to influence outcomes; service providers using the Ponseti technique had made most intentional steps to overcome contextual barriers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clubfoot / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic / methods*
  • Orthopedics / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care Management
  • Treatment Outcome