Clubfeet are commonly treated using the Ponseti method. This method involves weekly manipulation and casting which gradually corrects the position of the foot. However, the reasons for following a weekly interval are not clear.
Question / Purpose
The aim is to investigate the influence of the cast change interval on treatment outcomes in the Ponseti method.
We performed a systematic review of comparative studies in which the cast change interval was varied. Scientific databases were searched for relevant publications, screened for eligibility and assessed for a risk of bias. A 'best evidence' synthesis tool was used to synthesize the results of the included studies and draw conclusions from relevant clinical outcomes.
Nine papers matched the inclusion criteria, which provided data of 587 subjects who had a total of 870 clubfeet. There is strong evidence for a positive relation between cast change interval and treatment duration. However, there is no evidence for any relation between the cast change interval and the required number of casts, tenotomy rate, required surgery or failure rate.
Accelerated versions are as effective and safe as the traditional Ponseti method. However, more research is needed to assess the long-term results and to identify an optimal cast change interval.