The efficacy of orthopaedic treatment and its influence on clubfoot surgery has never been truly demonstrated. In the unsorted mass of clubfeet treated, it is difficult to determine exactly how effective orthopaedic treatment is for severely affected feet. If properly performed, perfectly synchronized, and supported by a Kinetec machine, such treatment can noticeably reduce the rate of operation and, when operation is still required, reduce its extent. In grade II soft > stiff feet with scores of 5–10, Kinetec-supported orthopaedic treatment is extremely effective. Operation is required in 32% of cases only, and posterior surgery is often sufficient. Lateral release, in this category, is never required. In grade III stiff > soft feet, with scores of 10–15, the efficacy of orthopaedic treatment associated with the Kinetec machine is far from negligible and operation most often includes posterior and medial release (PMR), variably associated with plantar release. Lateral release is exceptional (15%), and operation is necessary in 75% of cases. In grade IV stiff = stiff feet, with scores of 15–20, orthopaedic treatment with the Kinetec machine has a true, though limited, effect. In this category, operation is necessary in 90% of cases. Lateral release is performed in 50%. In the postoperative period, orthopaedic treatment combined with use of the Kinetic machine must be continued. Orthopaedic treatment coordinated with use of the machine has considerably shortened the duration of plaster cast immobilization: 2 months when operation included posterolateral-medial (PLMR) release or PMR, and only 1 month when operation was posterior release (PR). The machine has noticeably changed the results and has indisputably influenced operation on the whole.
© Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.