Author(s): Richards BS
Ninety-eight patients (142 clubfeet) treated nonoperatively by the French physical therapy method were reviewed to determine the effectiveness of this technique. All were 3 months old or less when treatment began and were rated for initial clubfoot severity using the Dimeglio scale (moderate, severe, very severe). Follow-up averaged 35 months (range 20-62 months). Forty-two percent of the feet needed no surgery to achieve a plantigrade position, 9% needed heelcord tenotomies, 29% needed posterior releases, and 20% needed comprehensive posteromedial releases. The Dimeglio scale was prognostic for outcomes, with moderate feet having the best results and very severe feet having the worst results. The French physical therapy method significantly reduced the need for operative intervention at the authors' institution.