Ponseti METHOD

A baby with a clubfoot. A baby with a clubfoot.

The Ponseti
Method for
clubfoot correction

Considered the gold standard for the continued treatment of clubfoot, the Ponseti Method is a nonsurgical approach in which casts and braces are used to gradually correct and maintain the position of your baby’s foot.

A Walking Miracle
The Ponseti Method for Clubfoot

Gradual changes
for lifelong

Developed in the 1950s by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti of the University of Iowa, the Ponseti Method is based on the proven concept that the tissues of an infant’s foot — including the tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and certain bones — will yield to gentle manipulation and casting at weekly intervals. When treatment is started within the first few weeks of life, most children will grow up without any physical symptoms or pain.

What is the Ponseti Method?

The Ponseti Method consists of two equally important phases: 
The initial five to eight week Treatment Phase and the longer-term Maintenance Phase.

Photo a foot casts. Photo a foot casts.
Gentle stretching and casting to correct

Beginning within one or two weeks of birth, you and your child will begin weekly treatment sessions. In each session, your specialist uses their hands to gently and painlessly manipulate your baby’s feet, stretching the ligaments and tendons to gradually correct their position and shape.  

After the stretching session, a plaster cast is applied to help reinforce the newly corrected shape and position. Each week, the cast is removed. Your specialist will perform the stretches again and recast your baby’s leg in the new position. This process typically continues for five to seven weeks, gradually bringing your baby’s foot into the correct alignment.

Before your specialist applies a final cast that is worn for three weeks, your baby may have a minor in-office procedure, called a percutaneous Achilles tenotomy. This involves making a tiny incision to the Achilles tendon. By the time the cast is removed, the tendon has healed and grown to the proper length.

Source: Ponseti International (ponseti.info)

Mitchell Ponseti® ankle-foot orthoses Mitchell Ponseti® ankle-foot orthoses
Bracing to maintain

Shortly after the last plaster cast is removed, your child will be fitted for a special brace designed to prevent the clubfoot from recurring. This brace must be worn full-time for two to three months, and then at night for three to four years. The brace consists of a pair of high top, open-toed shoes attached at the ends of a lightweight bar. It may take a little time for your baby to adjust to the sensation; however, he or she will soon learn to kick both legs simultaneously.

Shoes attached to the bar can often cause painful pressure blisters and sores. To help prevent these problems, the Mitchell Ponseti® ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are designed to hold your baby’s foot securely and comfortably in place without causing sores.

Source: Ponseti International (ponseti.info)