Adoption of Ponseti method as gold standard treatment

adoptionAlthough Dr Ponseti successfully treated clubfoot without surgery for over 50 years, it wasn’t adopted by most other surgeons. However, the growing popularity of the internet and increase of information available to parents changed this. The publication of Dr Ponseti’s book in 1996 was another catalyst in getting the method better known. The method is now endorsed as the treatment of choice by the majority of paediatric orthopaedic associations and a recent survey of US doctors showed that the majority had changed to Ponseti.

Extract from a review of Dr Ponseti’s book:

“One word of caution: if you adopt Ponseti’s method, as I have, then you will experience a noticeable drop in your income. Instead of an expensive open posteromedial release, you will be doing a relatively inexpensive percutaneous tenotomy. However, the satisfaction of seeing supple, fully corrected feet resulting from conservative treatment will be its own reward.

One final note: if Ponseti’s method is so effective, why is it not widely used? The fault lies with two parties: we the orthopaedic community, and Ignacio Ponseti himself. We tend to be conservative, closed-minded, and not open to new ideas.

Ponseti has been guilty, at least until he published this book, of not arguing forcibly enough to promote his ideas. Those who personally know “Papa” Ponseti understand that he is gentle, soft-spoken, non-bombastic, and non-dogmatic. As a result, his quiet voice has been drowned out by the more self-promoting personalities in our profession.

Now in the twilight of his career, Ponseti has realized how important it is to teach his method to a wider audience than just residents at the University of Iowa. In this book, he has done an admirable job of explaining and illustrating his method. It is up to the rest of us, now, to carefully read, digest, and apply his principles. Generations of clubfoot babies will thank us.” – Dr John Herzenberg, 1999


Dr Ponseti’s website

* Congenital clubfoot: Fundamentals of Treatment by Ignacio V. Ponseti. Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (January 15, 1996), ASIN: 0192627651

*Our own observations during treatment