By Jordana Bieze Foster
Children treated for clubfoot as infants grow up to be active 10-year-olds who can keep pace with their peers during almost all activities, according to research from the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.
Investigators studied seven children originally treated with French functional therapy for clubfoot, five of whom went on to have posteromedial release surgery, and 10 age matched unaffected children. Each child wore a StepWatch Activity Monitor for one week.
For almost all activity levels, there were no significant differences between the two groups. During bouts of activity longer than 16 minutes, the clubfoot group averaged just 1345 steps per bout, compared to 2606 steps per bout in the unaffected children. This suggests the children in the clubfoot group stop more often, perhaps preferring two eight-minute bouts of activity to one 16-minute bout, according to Michael Orendurff, MS, director of the Movement Science Laboratory at the hospital, who presented the findings at the i-FAB meeting.
“We don’t think the overall problem is that substantial,” Orendurff said.