Surgical versus Ponseti approach for the management of CTEV: a comparative study

J Pediatr Orthop. 2013 Apr-May;33(3):326-32. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e31827d0b2c.


Background: Results from a comparative study of Ponseti versus surgical management for congenital talipes equino varus (CTEV), using historically managed patients, are presented. No bias existed in terms of management choice or participants recruited.

Methods: Twenty-three surgically treated children (31 club feet; mean age 9.1 y) and 29 treated by the Ponseti technique (42 club feet; mean age 6.5 y) agreed to participate in the study. Twenty-six typically developing children (mean age 7.9 y) were also recruited as a control group. A physical examination and 3-dimensional gait analyses were carried out on all participants, and each child and his/her parent also, independently, completed the Oxford Ankle Foot Questionnaire (OxAFQ).

Results: The Ponseti group underwent fewer joint-invasive procedures than the surgical group. Passive range of dorsiflexion and plantarflexion were significantly less in the CTEV groups when compared with the control group (P<0.001), and plantarflexion was also significantly less in the surgical than in the Ponseti group (P<0.05). The bimalleolar axis was found to be significantly less in the CTEV groups than in the control group (P<0.001) and also significantly less in the surgical than in the Ponseti group (P<0.05). The gait deviation index, a gait score based on kinematics, showed a more normal gait pattern in the Ponseti group compared with the surgical group (P<0.001). The CTEV groups did not differ significantly from each other in terms of ankle sagittal and transverse plane kinematics or kinetics, but foot progression angle for the Ponseti group was external, whereas that for the surgical group was internal. The Ponseti group also scored higher than the surgical group in terms of patient satisfaction, with significantly better parent-rated OxAFQ scores in the "emotional" and "school and play" domains.

Conclusions: The adoption of the Ponseti technique has resulted in fewer and less-invasive operations for our CTEV population, with accompanying improvement in the overall gait pattern (gait deviation index) and parent satisfaction (OxAFQ).

Level of evidence: Level III.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clubfoot / surgery
  • Clubfoot / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies