Plantar pressures after nonoperative treatment for clubfoot: Intermediate follow-up at age 5 years

Kelly A. Jeans, Ashley L. Erdman, Lori A. Karol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: Worldwide, a nonoperative approach in the treatment of idiopathic clubfoot has been taken in an attempt to reduce the incidence of surgical outcomes. Although both the Ponseti casting (Ponseti) and the French physiotherapy (PT) methods have shown gait and pedobarograph differences at age 2 years, improved gait results have been reported by age 5 years. The purpose of this study was to assess plantar pressures in feet treated with the Ponseti versus the PT methods at this intermediate stage. Methods: Clubfoot patients treated nonoperatively (Ponseti or PT) underwent pedobarograph data collection at age 5 years. The foot was subdivided into the medial/lateral hindfoot, midfoot, and forefoot regions. Variables included Peak Pressure, Maximum Force, Contact Area%, Contact Time%, Pressure Time Integral, the hindfoot-forefoot angle, and displacement of the center of pressure (COP) line. Twenty controls were used for comparison. Results: Pedobarograph data from 164 patients (238 feet; 122 Ponseti and 116 PT) showed no significant differences between the Ponseti and the PT feet, except the PT feet had a significantly less medial movement of the COP than the Ponseti feet (P=0.0379). Compared with controls, both groups had decreased plantar pressures in the hindfoot and first metatarsal regions, whereas the midfoot and lateral forefoot experienced significant increases compared with controls. This lateralization was also reflected in the hindfoot-forefoot angle and the COP. Conclusions: Feet that remain nonoperative and avoid surgical intervention are considered a good clinical result. However, pedobarograph results indicate mild residual deformity in these feet despite clinically successful outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • clubfoot
  • gait
  • pediatrics
  • pedobarograph
  • plantar pressures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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