CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Oct. 27, 1999
New UI Health Care clinic, web site expands help to
families of children with clubfoot
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new clinic is making it easier
for children with clubfoot to receive non-surgical, comparatively low-cost
treatment for the deformity at the Childrens Hospital of Iowa, located
in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Directed by Ignacio Ponseti, M.D., UI professor emeritus
of orthopaedic surgery, the clinic increases the availability of physicians
and staff who specialize in performing the treatment he perfected some 50
years ago, the Ponseti Method. In addition, parents of children with clubfoot
can easily access information on the condition and the Ponseti Method by visiting
a new web site and chat forum or by calling a new toll-free number.
Clubfoot is the most common birth defect of the lower
extremity. It causes the foot to turn inward and point downward. If untreated,
a child with clubfoot will have severely impaired walking, a smaller, less
mobile foot, and possible psychological distress.
Conventional surgical treatment, currently used in
half of all cases, can cost approximately $11,000 and is only 75 percent successful.
The Ponseti Method costs around $2,000 and involves gentle, manual manipulation
of the childs foot and application of toe-to-groin plaster casts. The
casts are changed weekly after a clinician manipulates softened foot ligaments
to gradually achieve near-normal muscle and bone alignment. Five or six cast
changes are sufficient to correct most clubfeet.
"Parents of infants born with clubfoot may be
reassured that their baby, if otherwise normal, when treated by expert hands
will have normal-looking feet with normal function for all practical purposes,"
said Ponseti, who has performed more than 1,000 successful procedures.
This week, the 85-year-old Ponseti is at the University
of California, San Francisco to train physicians in the highly effective clubfoot
treatment. In addition to Ponseti, the UI Health Care clubfoot clinic is staffed
by Fred Dietz, M.D., and Stuart Weinstein, M.D., both UI professors of orthopaedic
For more information about the Ponseti Method, visit
the UI Health Care web site at www.uihealthcare.com/DeptsClinicalServices/Clubfoot/.
The site offers a chat forum for parents of children with clubfoot, answers
to frequently asked questions, and a 20-minute video digitized for web use.
Parents can also call the clinic toll-free at (888) 569-8510.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: UI Health Care orthopaedic surgeons
Fred Dietz and Stuart Weinstein are available to talk about the Ponseti Method
and the UI Clubfoot Clinic. Parents of children with clubfoot treated by the
Ponseti Method, and adults who were treated as children, are also available
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.