Early detection and treatment of clubfoot in a rural setting in South Africa

Clubfoot is one of the most common musculoskeletal congenital disorders and annually affects around 174 000 babies worldwide. Untreated clubfoot leads to significant permanent impairment and problems with ambulation, thus presenting a potential public health dilemma. Clubfoot can however be corrected with a non-surgical method referred to as the Ponseti method. This gives a child normal, pain free mobility and the potential to grow up as a productive member of society. Treatment for clubfoot needs to be implemented as soon as possible after birth of the child to produce the best results and avoid possible relapse of the clubfoot. Diagnosis and treatment of clubfoot starting at, or later than three months of age, is regarded as late detection and treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the healthcare-seeking behaviour of guardians of children with clubfoot at or after the age of three months to promote early detection and treatment. A qualitative study was conducted to explore the reasons for seeking healthcare at Ponseti clinics for children that were three months or older; and to describe the challenges that the guardians experienced in seeking healthcare for their children. Data collection was done through semi-structured interviews at two public sector hospitals in KwaZulu Natal Province. Two major themes emerged from the study, namely discovering the clubfoot deformity, and the challenges guardians experienced in seeking healthcare for their children with clubfoot. There is a lack of knowledge about clubfoot resulting in late detection and initiation of treatment; and that clubfoot is a treatable condition which can result in the child leading a normal life if treated with the Ponseti method. Participants attending antenatal care were not informed by health practitioners of clubfoot being a potential birth defect. In some cases, guardians approached health practitioners early, but were referred late to a Ponseti clinic. Guardians in the study experienced several challenges when seeking healthcare for their children, including financial, transport and family responsibility challenges. They described having a child with clubfoot as an emotionally taxing journey. Recommendations are made for education, practice, policy, and research. An information brochure was designed to promote early detection and treatment of clubfoot.

The Health Determinants of Accessibility to Clubfoot Treatment in LMICs: A Global Exploration of Barriers and Solutions

Background: Clubfoot or Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV) treatment in newborn infants involves simple, non-invasive manipulation and is primarily managed non-surgically if identified early. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), less than 15% of patients with CTEV access treatment. This cross-sectional questionnaire study conducted descriptive and regression analysis of institutional reasons for CTEV management in LMICs.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken of 1,489 medical institutions in 62 LMICs. Data were evaluated from the “World Health Organization Situation Analysis tool” database. We analyzed characteristics of institutions that manage and did not manage CTEV. With the use of a multivariate linear regression model, we identified a set of factors linked to referral for non-management of CTEV.

Results: A total of 72.7% (1,083/1,395) of institutions surveyed did not manage CTEV. The most common reason cited for not managing CTEV was a lack of sufficient skills, 92.1% (668/725, P<0.001). A total of 39.4% (286/725) of institutions also cited a lack of functioning equipment as a reason. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed lack of training, lack of supplies, and lack of functioning equipment were most closely related to non-management of CTEV.

Conclusion and Global Health Implications: We identified that failure to manage CTEV may result from a lack of skills and medical equipment. Increasing the capacity of sustainable training programs may reduce the presently available skill deficit in treating CTEV in LMICs and provide improved health outcomes for those with CTEV. While considerable progress has been made in building capacity for the treatment and management of CTEV in LMICs, structured training programs that support conservative manipulative methods to manage CTEV should be initiated globally

Evaluation of a surgical treatment algorithm for neglected clubfoot in low-resource settings

Idiopathic clubfoot affects approximately 1/1000 alive-born infants, of whom 80–91% are born in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs). This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the morphological, functional, and social outcomes in patients with neglected clubfoot in rural Bangladesh, after receiving surgical treatment.

Patients received a posteromedial release (PMR) with or without an additional soft tissue intervention (group 1), a PMR with an additional bony intervention (group 2), or a triple arthrodesis (group 3) according to our surgical algorithm. Patients were followed until two year post-intervention. Evaluation was done using a modified International Clubfoot Study Group Outcome evaluation score and the Laaveg-Ponseti score.

Twenty-two patients with 32 neglected clubfeet (ages 2–24 years) received surgical treatment. Nineteen patients with 29 clubfeet attended follow-up. At two year follow-up an excellent, good, or fair Laaveg-Ponseti score was obtained in 81% (group 1), 80% (group 2), and 0% (group 3) of the patients (p value 0.0038). Age at intervention is inversely correlated with the Laaveg-Ponseti score at two year follow-up (p < 0.0001). All patients attended school or work and were able to wear normal shoes.

Our treatment algorithm is in line with other surgical algorithms used in LMICs. Our data reconfirms that excellent results can be obtained with a PMR regardless of age. Our algorithm follows a pragmatic approach that takes into account the reality on the ground in many LMICs. Good functional outcomes can be achieved with PMR for neglected clubfoot. Further research is needed to investigate the possible role of triple arthrodesis.

Clubfoot patients’ demographic profile and outcomes of using the ponseti method at three selected hospitals in Zimbabwe

Background: Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal congenital abnormality and the Ponseti method is regarded as the gold standard of treatment. It has proven to be affordable, simple, and effective in correcting this deformity, particularly in low resource settings similar to Zimbabwe. Aim: The aim of this study was to establish the demographic profile and outcomes of patients with clubfoot treated using the Ponseti method at 3 hospitals in Zimbabwe, as well as determine whether results obtained were similar to those from regional and international research. Methodology: A descriptive retrospective records review of patients with clubfoot treated between January 2013 and December 2015 at Parirenyatwa, Harare Central and Mutare Provincial Hospitals was conducted. The main outcome was the final Pirani score at the end of the corrective phase. Data was analysed using STATISTICA Version 13.5. Results: There were 310 participants, mostly male (64.2%), with the majority (79.7%) in the maintenance phase of treatment. A total of 88.3% of the were participants between zero and two years of age at initial presentation, and the median (IQR) age was 3months (0.15-11months). Clubfoot was mostly of idiopathic (90.5%) and bilateral (55.2%) presentation, with positive family history of the deformity reported in 14.5% of participants. Mean (SD)Pirani scores at initial assessment for the right and left feet were 3.92 (1.33) and 3.99 (1.25) respectively. The Mean (SD) number of casts applied before tenotomy was 7.14 (4.48) ranging from 0-26 casts, and 72.5% of the participants had a tenotomy done. The proportion of left and right feet that attained a Pirani score of one or less at the end of the corrective phase was 79.2% and 82.5% respectively. Relapse was reported for 42.6% of participants in braces. At time of data collection, as many as 73.6% of the participants had stopped attending the clinics. Conclusion: Clubfoot treated using the Ponseti method had a good outcome at the end of the corrective phase. The demographic profile of patients managed at the three clinics and their treatment outcomes were in line with literature findings. There is, however, evidence of poor compliance and a high loss to follow up during the bracing phase and these need to be addressed to improve long term results.

A comparison of outcome measures used to report clubfoot treatment with the Ponseti method: results from a cohort in Harare, Zimbabwe.

There are various established scoring systems to assess the outcome of clubfoot treatment after correction with the Ponseti method. We used five measures to compare the results in a cohort of children followed up for between 3.5 to 5 years.

In January 2017 two experienced physiotherapists assessed children who had started treatment between 2011 and 2013 in one clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe. The length of time in treatment was documented. The Roye score, Bangla clubfoot assessment tool, the Assessing Clubfoot Treatment (ACT) tool, proportion of relapsed and of plantigrade feet were used to assess the outcome of treatment in the cohort. Inter-observer variation was calculated for the two physiotherapists. A comparative analysis of the entire cohort, the children who had completed casting and the children who completed more than two years of bracing was undertaken. Diagnostic accuracy was calculated for the five measures and compared to full clinical assessment (gold standard) and whether referral for further intervention was required for re-casting or surgical review.

31% (68/218) of the cohort attended for examination and were assessed. Of the children who were assessed, 24 (35%) had attended clinic reviews for 4-5 years, and 30 (44%) for less than 2 years. There was good inter-observer agreement between the two expert physiotherapists on all assessment tools. Overall success of treatment varied between 56 and 93% using the different outcome measures. The relapse assessment had the highest unnecessary referrals (19.1%), and the Roye score the highest proportion of missed referrals (22.7%). The ACT and Bangla score missed the fewest number of referrals (7.4%). The Bangla score demonstrated 79.2% (95%CI: 57.8-92.9%) sensitivity and 79.5% (95%CI: 64.7-90.2%) specificity and the ACT score had 79.2% (95%CI: 57.8-92.9%) sensitivity and 100% (95%CI: 92-100%) specificity in predicting the need for referral.

At three to five years of follow up, the Ponseti method has a good success rate that improves if the child has completed casting and at least two years of bracing. The ACT score demonstrates good diagnostic accuracy for the need for referral for further intervention (specialist opinion or further casting). All tools demonstrated good reliability.

Ponseti clubfoot management: changing surgical trends in Nigeria.

Congenital clubfoot treatment continues to be controversial particularly in a resource-constrained country. Comparative evaluation of clubfoot surgery with Ponseti methods has not been reported in West Africa.To determine the effects of Ponseti techniques on clubfoot surgery frequency and patterns in Nigeria.This was a prospective hospital-based intention-to-treat comparative study of clubfoot managed with Ponseti methods (PCG) and extensive soft tissue surgery (NPCG). The first step was a nonselective double-blind randomization of clubfoot patients into two groups using Excel software in a university teaching hospital setting. The control group was the NPCG patients. The patients’ parents gave informed consent, and the medical research and ethics board approved the study protocol. Biodata was gathered, clubfoot patterns were analyzed, Dimeglio-Bensahel scoring was done, the number of casts applied was tallied, and patterns of surgeries were documented. The cost of care, recurrence and outcomes were evaluated. Kruskal-Wallis analysis and Mann-Whitney U technique were used, and an alpha error of < 0.05 at a CI of 95% were taken to be significant.We randomized 153 clubfeet (in 105 clubfoot patients) into two treatment groups. Fifty NPCG patients (36.2%) underwent manipulation and extensive soft tissue surgery and 55 PCG patients (39.9%) were treated with Ponseti methods. Fifty-two patients of the Ponseti group had no form of surgery (94.5% vs. 32%, p<0.000). Extensive soft tissue surgery was indicated in 17 (34.0%) of the NPCG group, representing 8.9% of the total of 191 major orthopaedic surgeries within the study period. Thirty-five patients (70.0%) from the NPCG group required more than six casts compared to thirteen patients (23.6%) of the PCG (p<0.000). The mean care cost was high within the NPCG when compared to the Ponseti group (48% vs. 14.5%, p<0.000). The Ponseti-treated group had fewer treatment complications (p<0.003), a lower recurrence rate (p<0.000) and satisfactory early outcome (p<0.000).Major clubfoot surgery was not commonly indicated among patients treated with the Ponseti method. The Ponseti clubfoot technique has reduced total care costs, cast utilization, clubfoot surgery frequency and has also changed the patterns of surgery performed for clubfoot in Nigeria.

Peters anomaly with post axial polydactyly, bilateral camptodactyly and club foot in a Kenyan neonate: a case report.

A case of bilateral Peters anomaly with bilateral post axial polydactyly, bilateral camptodactyly, and club foot was examined in a neonatal Kenyan baby girl of African descent who had been delivered in the hospital and admitted to the newborn unit. She died aged five days. There are no cases of Peters anomaly recorded in Africa according to a literature search. In addition, available data point to the majority of the principal associations in Peters anomaly to be genitourinary anomalies, making this case a rare one in its isolated collection of musculoskeletal associations.A Kenyan baby girl of African descent who was born through a caesarean section presented in the new born unit of our hospital with bilateral corneal opacities, bilateral polydactyly, camptodactyly and club foot.This is a rare case of Peters anomaly and its association with multiple musculoskeletal abnormalities makes it special.

[Place of double arthrodesis in the management of irreducible talipes equinovarus].

La prise en charge du pied bot varus équin invétéré ( PBVEI) pose d’énormes problèmes thérapeutiques. La double arthrodèse sous-talienne et médio-tarsienne longtemps considérée comme la solution de sécurité pour ces déformations est encore couramment utilisée. Nous rapportons une série de 13 enfants opérés pour un pied bot varus équin invétérés (16 pieds) par Arthrodèse sous-talienne et médio tarsienne réalisée au service d’orthopédie pédiatrique du CHU Hassan II ; de Fès au Maroc sur une période de 4 ans ; étalée de janvier 2009 à décembre 2012. L’âge moyen de nos patients était de 12,6 ans avec prédominance féminine. L’origine congénitale était retrouvée chez 10 patients. L’atteinte était gauche chez 8 patients avec une localisation bilatérale chez 3 patients. La radiographie standard du pied de face et de profil a révélée une divergence talo-calcanéenne qui variait entre 5 et 20°, l’angle talus-1er métatarsien entre 20 et 40° (avec une moyenne de 28°) et l’angle calcanéus-5ème métatarsien entre 15° et 45° (avec une moyenne de 30°). Tous les patients ont bénéficiés d’une arthrodèse sous-talienne et médio tarsienne. Les résultats étaient satisfaisants dans 98% des cas. Le pied était plantigrade dans 9 cas, le varus de l’arrière pied persistait dans 4 pieds alors que l’équin et le varus de l’avant pied étaient notés chez 2 cas. La double arthrodèse est l’intervention idéale pour stabiliser et corriger les déformations rencontrées dans le PBVE invétéré , elle assure totalement le verrouillage du couple de torsion. Elle permet outre une correction des diverses déformations et une ré-axation de l’arrière-pied dans les 3 plans de l’espace.

From cutting to casting: impact and initial barriers to the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment in China.

In 2005, a nationwide clubfoot treatment program focused on the Ponseti method -an effective, affordable and minimally-invasive method- was initiated in China. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and identify barriers to the program. A qualitative study (rapid ethnographic study) was conducted using semi-structured interviews of 44 physicians who attended four of the 10 Ponseti training workshops, focus groups with parents of children with clubfoot, and observation. Several barriers to the Ponseti method are quite unique due to China’s size, socio-economics, culture, politics, and healthcare systems. The barriers were classified into seven themes: (i) physician education, (ii) caregiver compliance, (iii) culture, (iv) public awareness, (v) poverty, (vi) financial constraints for physicians/hospitals, and (vii) challenges of the treatment process. A number of suggestions that could be helpful in reducing or eliminating the effects of these barriers were also identified: (i) pamphlets explaining clubfoot and treatment for caregivers, (ii) directories of Ponseti providers, (iii) funding/financial support, and (iv) improving public awareness. The information from this study provides healthcare planners with knowledge to assist in meeting the needs of the population and continued implementation of effective and culturally appropriate awareness and treatment programs for clubfoot throughout China.

Results of clubfoot treatment after manipulation and casting using the Ponseti method: experience in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of the Ponseti manipulation and casting method for clubfoot in a tertiary hospital in Zimbabwe and explore predictors of these outcomes.A cohort study included children with idiopathic clubfoot managed from 2011 to 2013 at Parirenyatwa Hospital. Demographic data, clinical features and treatment outcomes were extracted from clinic records. The primary outcome measure was the final Pirani score (clubfoot severity measure) after manipulation and casting. Secondary outcomes included change in Pirani score (pre-treatment to end of casting), number of casts for correction, proportion receiving tenotomy and proportion lost to follow up.A total of 218 children (337 feet) were eligible for inclusion. The median age at treatment was 8 months; 173 children (268 feet) completed casting treatment within the study period. The mean length of time for corrective treatment was 10.2 weeks (9.5-10.9 weeks). Of the 45 children who did not complete treatment, 28 were under treatment and 17 were lost to follow up. A Pirani score of 1 or less was achieved in 85% of feet. Mean Pirani score at presentation was 3.80 (SD 1.15) and post-treatment 0.80 (SD 0.56, P-value <0.0001). Severity of deformity and being male were associated with a higher (worse) final Pirani score. Severity and age over two were associated with an increase in the number of casts required to correct deformity.This case series demonstrates that the majority (80%+) of children with clubfoot can achieve a good outcome with the Ponseti manipulation and casting method.