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Completely at Ease: Correcting Clubfeet

At her 20-week sonogram, Tara Gore was told that her baby would be born with clubfeet.

"We were devastated and started to research clubfeet. We were very fortunate to learn about the Ponseti method," says Mrs. Gore. "Before Jack was born we met with Dr. Scher, who was one of the few doctors in the city trained by Dr. Ponseti and highly regarded in the field. He explained everything, showed us casts and little shoes, and completely put us at ease."

Within a few weeks of Jack's birth, he was in the office of David Scher, MD having his first casting done. “He’s an amazing doctor,” says Mr. Gore. "It's a blessing that we found him."

Nearly 10 years ago, the treatment of clubfoot changed dramatically with a minimally invasive approach called the Ponseti method. The Ponseti technique is based on the principle that the tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, and certain bones of the newborn’s foot will yield to gentle manipulation and casting begun within the first few weeks of life. “If the details of this technique are applied without modification, most clubfeet can be corrected without the need for major reconstructive surgery,” says Dr. Scher, who used the technique with Jack.

“Following the treatment phase, a removable brace is used to maintain the foot in its corrected position. Long-term results indicate that foot function is comparable with that of normal feet. Dr. Ponseti, who passed away this fall, made a tremendous impact on our field and taught me the technique. Those of us who treat clubfeet, and our patients, owe him our gratitude for his work and tireless efforts in this field.”

 

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