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Athletic Ability of School-Age Children After Satisfactory Treatment of Congenital Clubfoot

Kenmoku, Tomonori MD, PhD; Kamegaya, Makoto MD, Ph.D; Saisu, Takashi MD, PhD; Ochiai, Nobuyasu MD, PhD; Iwakura, Nahoko MD, PhD; Iwase, Dai MD; Takahashi, Kazuhisa MD, PhD; Takaso, Masashi MD, PhD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: April/May 2013 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 321–325
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e31827d0c88
Foot and Ankle

Background: This is the first study to objectively assess the athletic ability of school-age congenital clubfoot patients.

Methods: Forty-six feet of 30 patients (18 boys, 12 girls) were evaluated in this study. Nine patients were treated conservatively, 8 patients underwent percutaneous tenotomy of the Achilles tendon, and 13 patients were treated with extensive soft-tissue release. The mean age at the investigation was 9.2±1.9 years, and the mean follow-up period was 8.3±2.9 years. Athletic ability was evaluated by calculating Z-scores for the patients’ scores in 5 physical fitness tests routinely performed nationwide at elementary schools: 50-meter run; standing long jump; repetition side steps; 20-meter shuttle run; and sit-ups. The Z-scores were calculated based on data published as the nationwide standards.

Results: Of the 148 scores recorded for the 5 tests for the 30 clubfoot patients, 143 scores (96.6%) were higher than the −2 SD value. The mean Z-scores were as follows: −0.32 for 50-meter run; −0.16 for standing long jump; −0.24 for 20-meter shuttle run; 0.22 for repetition side steps; and 0.06 for sit-ups. None of the events showed any significant differences among the three treatment groups.

Conclusions: Congenital clubfoot with satisfactory treatment did not significantly impair the athletic performance.

Level of Evidence: Prognostic level III.

Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan

There was no external funding source. No authors received financial benefit from this investigation.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Tomonori Kenmoku, MD, PhD, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan 252-0380. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.