Background: Assessment of children treated nonoperatively for idiopathic clubfoot, has primarily focused on the kinematic and kinetic results measured with gait analysis (GA). Excellent results in ankle motion and push-off power during gait have been reported at age 5; however, the assessment of gross motor function, has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to look at the relationship between gait measures, Peabody Developmental Motor Scales and parent-perception of their child's outcome [measured with the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI)]. Methods: A total of 81 children with idiopathic clubfoot were seen for both GA and Peabody testing. Children who initially underwent the Ponseti technique (n=29), the French Physical Therapy method (PT) (n=23), and a group of children initially treated nonoperatively, but who required surgical intervention before GA at 5 years of age (n=29) were enrolled. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to establish significant relationships between gait variables, Peabody, and PODCI scores. Results: Gait data showed that the Ponseti treated feet had significantly greater ankle power than feet treated surgically (P=0.0075). The Peabody results showed that the PT feet had higher stationary (P=0.0332) and overall gross motor quotient percent (GMQ%) scores (P=0.0092) than the surgical feet. No differences were found in PODCI scores. Ankle power was weakly correlated to the GMQ% (r=0.29; P=0.0102); however, the GMQ% showed a strong correlation to the parent report of Global Functioning Scale on the PODCI (r=0.48; P=0.0005). Conclusions: Minimal gait disturbances do not interfere with function or parental assessment of abilities and satisfaction at 5-year follow-up in children with idiopathic clubfeet. Nonoperative correction of clubfeet should be the goal when possible, as the Peabody scores show better function as early as 5 years of age when surgery is not required. Level of Evidence: Level II-therapeutic.
- Gait analysis
- Peabody motor scale
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine