Bracing Following Correction of Idiopathic Clubfoot Using the Ponseti Method

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Lewis E. Zionts, MD and Frederick R. Dietz, MD J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 8, August 2010 The Ponseti method for the management of idiopathic clubfoot has recently experienced a rise in popularity, with several centers reporting excellent outcomes. The challenge in achieving a successful outcome with this method lies not in correcting deformity but in preventing relapse. The most common cause of relapse is failure to adhere to the prescribed postcorrective bracing regimen. Socioeconomic status, cultural factors, and physician-parent communication may influence parental compliance with bracing. New, more user-friendly braces have been introduced in the hope of improving the rate of compliance. Strategies that may be helpful in promoting adherence include educating the family at the outset about the importance of bracing, encouraging calls and visits to discuss problems, providing clear written instructions, avoiding or promptly addressing skin problems, and refraining from criticism of the family when noncompliance is evident. A strong physician-family partnership and consideration of underlying cognitive, socioeconomic, and cultural issues may lead to improved adherence to postcorrective bracing protocols and better patient outcomes.

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