Congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV) is a complex three-dimensional deformity with an incidence of 1–3 per 1000 live births. The Ponseti method is widely accepted and practiced, giving reliably good long-term results. There are a number of studies showing the benefits of a physiotherapy led Ponseti service with outcomes similar to a consultant led service. We present the first prospective randomised series comparing a physiotherapy led Ponseti service with a standard orthopaedic surgeon led series.
16 infants with bilateral CTEV were randomised into two groups. Each infant had one foot treated by a physiotherapist and the other foot treated by an orthopaedic surgeon using the Ponseti technique. Both groups had a premanipulation Pirani score of 5.5. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 12 months and the results demonstrated no significant difference in the post-treatment Pirani scores (p=0.77) and no significant difference in the success rate the Ponseti technique (p=1.00).
This study is the first of its kind and demonstrates the value of a physiotherapy led Ponseti service in the management of CTEV. Although overall supervision by a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon is still necessary, this service will allow the surgeon to spend more time dealing with more complex problems.
- Copyright © 2016, British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery