The manipulation and corrective cast application for club foot was known to be done by Kite's method. The Kite's method of manipulation (center of rotation of malaligned foot and fulcrum on cuboid) was modified by Ponseti (fulcrum on head of talus). Recently, Ponseti's method has gained popularity and vastly improved results are reported. We report randomized controlled trial where manipulation of club foot was done by Ponseti's and Kite's method and correction evaluated by Pirani score to compare the outcome of treatment.
Materials and Methods:
Sixty feet in 38 patients, 22 with bilateral and 16 with unilateral clubfeet in children less than two years of age and without any prior manipulation or surgical treatment were randomly allocated to the Ponseti (30 feet) and Kite (30 feet) methods of manipulation. This process resulted in the right and left feet of the same patient in 12 bilateral cases being compared with one another (Paired analysis). In the remaining 10 bilateral cases, four patients had both feet treated by Ponseti and six had both feet treated by Kite (unpaired analysis). Finally, in 16 unilateral cases, 10 feet were allocated to the Ponseti and six to Kite methods of manipulation (unpaired analysis). Feet were followed up weekly for 10 weeks for change of cast and recording of hindfoot, midfoot and total Pirani scores. Correction was measured as a difference between hindfoot, mid foot and total Pirani scores weekly from weeks 1 to 10 and corresponding baseline scores. Absolute correction and rate of correction in (i) bilateral clubfeet treated by Ponseti's method on one side and Kite's method on the other side in the same patient were compared using paired Student's t test and (ii) patients with unilateral clubfoot (where either of the methods was used) or those with bilateral clubfoot (where both feet treated by either of the two methods on both the sides) were compared using difference between means (mean correction by Ponseti minus mean correction by Kite) for magnitude of difference and unpaired Student's t test (if data was normally distributed) or Mann Whitney U statistics (otherwise) for significance of difference.
In 12 bilateral clubfeet, where one foot received Kite's method and the other Ponseti's manipulation, feet treated by Ponseti's technique showed faster rates of decrease in Pirani score (improvement) as compared to feet treated by Kite's method with the mean of difference between baseline and follow up scores showing significantly greater (P<0.05) difference from zero from fourth week onwards to up to 10 weeks. In unpaired analysis, both for unilateral or bilateral clubfeet, regardless of side, mean Pirani scores in Ponseti feet improved much faster than Kite feet but the difference achieved statistical significance only at the 10th week from the start of treatment.
Hind foot, midfoot and total Pirani scores reduce much faster with Ponseti than the Kite's method of manipulation of clubfoot. In paired analysis the difference becomes statistically significant at fourth week and in unpaired analysis at 10th week from the start of treatment.