Every month, in 18 countries, our 330 clubfoot clinics receive over 6,000 visits from children who have been afflicted with clubfoot. Congenital clubfoot is the most common birth defect of the musculoskeletal system and is estimated to affect nearly 1 in every 750 births worldwide. In many low- and middle-income countries, treatment is unavailable, and these children face a lifetime of disability.
Thankfully, a relatively inexpensive treatment is available. The gold standard of clubfoot treatment, the Ponseti method, can be broken down into three phases: casting, tenotomy, and bracing. Over the first six-to-eight weeks, the child is brought to our clinic on a weekly basis, where a new cast is placed from their toes to their hip. The Ponseti method relies on frequent manipulation to bring the foot and ankle into proper alignment. Once significant correction has been obtained, a procedure called a tenotomy is performed where the Achilles tendon is severed and a final cast is applied for three weeks.