Ponseti Casting: New Research
Ponseti casting has been deemed an excellent choice for patients with “recurrent club feet”, according to a comparative study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery this month.
The research was undertaken because there is still some doubt over the success of Ponseti treatment for children with recurrent club feet (as opposed to “virgin club feet”). The study compared Ponseti casting on 21 feet with untreated congenital clubfoot and 21 feet in children with relapses congenital clubfoot. The results showed no statistical differences between to 2 groups and the authors concluded “excellent initial correction of deformity can be achieved without the need for an extensive soft tissue release in more than 95% of children with recurrent clubfeet”.
Do sprinters have different shaped feet?
An interesting paper published in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics is suggesting that foot shape differs between sprinters and non habitual exercisers.
The study compared 746 non-habitual exercisers with 41 sprinters (all male) by 3D scanning their feet and comparing 14 foot type indicators, including heel breadth, toe length, arch height index, normalised navicular height index and ball girth circumference.
The results suggested that sprinters have narrower heel breadths, longer toes, and that “ball girth circumference, height of navicular, and hallux of the right foot were significantly different across the groups.”
More research is needed to verify these findings.
Training for patients with walking sticks
If you see elderly patients who use walking sticks, it may be worth enquiring if they have had any advice on how best to use it. This has been prompted by a new study published in Gait & Posture which investigated “Body weight support through a walking cane in inexperienced users with knee osteoarthritis”
The study highlighted that walking canes are often a self-management adopted by the patient to ease weight going through their knee. The research questions included:
“1) How much body weight support do people with knee OA place through a cane?
2) Do measures of body weight support increase following a brief simple training session?”
Results showed that without training, patients put approximately 7.2 % of their bodyweight through their stick. However, following 10 minutes of training by a physiotherapist this increased to 9.3 %. The study went on to suggest that simple bathroom scales could be used to indicate to patients how much force they are putting through their stick.