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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-54

How much remodeling is possible in a clubfoot treatment? Magnetic resonance imaging study in a 7-year-old child

1 Assistant Professor at State, Hospital of São Paulo (HSPE), São Paulo - SP, Brazil
2 Radiologic Department, Sirio Libanes Hospital, São Paulo - SP, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Monica Paschoal Nogueira
426 Maracatins Avenue, Apt. 402, Sao Paulo 04089-000
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jllr.jllr_18_17

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Background: The Ponseti method for clubfoot treatment was initially described for children up to 6 months. Remodeling of cartilage in infants undergoing treatment by Ponseti method has already been studied with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). “Neglected” or after walking age clubfeet was also shown to be corrected with the Ponseti method. Remodeling in those patients has not yet been sequentially documented. Questions/Purposes: To document cartilage anlage changes at 2. 5 and 18 weeks during treatment in a 7-year-old child, and verify if those changes are maintained 2.5 years after Ponseti treatment. Does the Achilles tendon also heal and remodel? Materials and Methods: A 7-year-old with bilateral clubfeet is treated with Ponseti method with ten casts, followed by complete percutaneous tenotomy and anterior tibial transfer to the third cuneiform. Cartilage and bone remodeling are studied through MRI sequences at the beginning of treatment, 5, 18 weeks and 2.5 years after Ponseti clubfoot treatment. Results: Images before treatment show severe tibiotalar plantar flexion, plantar talar neck inclination, and inferior talonavicular subluxation. After 5 weeks images show the correction of hindfoot equinus. After 18 weeks images demonstrate correction of the tibiotalar plantar flexion, normal congruency of the talonavicular and subtalar and complete healing of Achilles tendon. These cartilage/bone changes are maintained after 2.5 years, and the foot is plantigrade. MRI studies after treatment show good congruency, and reduction of talonavicular, talocalcaneal, and calcaneocuboid joints. Healing of Achilles tendon is documented after 8 weeks of complete tenotomy, and anterior tibial tendon transfer can be identified inserted to the third cuneiform. Conclusions: The observed changes can justify application of Ponseti Method for children with clubfeet after walking age. Clinical Relevance: Ponseti treatment can be applied to children over walking age resulting in correction of clubfeet due to cartilage remodeling.

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