Participation and Motor Abilities in Children Aged 5 to 9 Years With Idiopathic Clubfeet After Treatment With the Ponseti Method

J Pediatr Orthop. 2023 Jan 1;43(1):e36-e42. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000002278. Epub 2022 Oct 17.


Background: Functioning in children consists of different aspects, including their ability to execute activities and participate in life situations. Several studies on children with clubfeet showed limited motor abilities and walking capacity compared with healthy control children, while other studies showed comparable athletic abilities and gross motor development. Although participation in activities of daily life plays an important role in the development of children, this has not yet been investigated in children with clubfeet. The study aims to determine the level of parents' perceived motor ability and participation in Ponseti-treated children with clubfeet compared with age-matched healthy controls.

Methods: Parents of children aged 5 to 9 years with and without idiopathic Ponseti-treated clubfeet were asked to complete an online questionnaire about their child's motor abilities and participation level using the Dutch version of the Assessment of Life Habits for Children (LIFE-H) version 3 to assess participation and the Dutch Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 Checklist (MABC-2 Checklist) to assess motor abilities. Statistical analysis focused on differences between groups and the relationship between motor abilities and level of participation.

Results: Questionnaires of 86 children with clubfeet (mean age 7.1, 73% boys) and 62 controls (age 6.7, 53% boys) were analyzed. Despite a large variation, results showed no significant differences between groups on the total scores of the LIFE-H and the MABC-2 Checklist. Children with clubfeet, however, scored lower on Mobility and better on the categories Communication and Responsibility of the LIFE-H. Furthermore, children with clubfeet showed lower scores on the MABC-2 Checklist subscale "movement in a static and/or predictable environment." High levels of the parents' perceived participation correlate with good results, as perceived by the parents, in motor ability.

Conclusions: Although differences on some aspects of motor ability and participation existed, children with clubfeet in general showed high levels of parents' perceived motor ability and participation. High levels of participation correlated with good results in motor ability.

Level of evidence: Level II.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clubfoot* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Surveys and Questionnaires