Aims: The study was undertaken to compare the efficacy of Woodcast splints and plaster-of-Paris casts in maintaining correction following sequential manipulation of idiopathic clubfeet.
Methods: In this randomized prospective trial, 23 idiopathic clubfeet were immobilized with plaster-of-Paris casts and 23 clubfeet were immobilized with a splint made of Woodcast that encircled only two-thirds the circumference of the limb. The number of casts or splints needed to obtain full correction, the frequency of cast or splint-related complications, and the time taken for application and removal of the casts and splints were compared.
Results: The mean number of casts required to obtain full correction of the deformity (Pirani Score 0) was 4.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.74 to 4.95) when plaster-of-Paris was used and 4.87 (95% CI 4.33 to 5.41) when the Woodcast splint was used (p = 0.190). The time required for application and removal of the Woodcast splint were significantly less than that required for application and removal of plaster-of-Paris casts (p < 0.001). Woodcast splint-related complications were not more frequent than plaster-of-Paris cast related complications.
Conclusion: Though Woodcast splints covering two-thirds of the circumference of the lower limbs of infants were effective in maintaining the correction of clubfoot deformity during serial manipulation and casting treatment, the superiority of Woodcasts over plaster-of-Paris could not be established. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(10):1399-1404.
Keywords: Ponseti casting; Woodcast; idiopathic clubfoot; plaster-of-Paris casts.