Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Outpatient Medical Center Celebrates 100th Clubfoot Treated in Clinic Using Minimally Invasive Technique
LOS ANGELES – September 4, 2008 –The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (LAOH) Outpatient Medical Center today announced the 100th clubfoot treated using the minimally invasive Ponseti technique. The hospital holds weekly clinics to treat this correctable, but potentially debilitating deformity.
With clubfoot affecting approximately 1 in 1000 newborns in the U.S., LAOH recognized the need for advanced treatment options. Lewis Zionts, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedist for LAOH, studied and uses the Ponseti treatment method to effectively treat clubfoot deformity. This technique involves a series of manipulations and corrective cast applications. At the end of the period, a mini-procedure is performed to lengthen the heel cord and a cast is worn for an additional three weeks. A special orthopaedic device is worn for a period of time to maintain correction. This has been the hospital’s preferred treatment method for clubfoot patients since the start of this specialty clinic nearly two years ago.
The minimally invasive treatment methods uses as little surgery as possible to correct the clubfoot and results in less persistent stiffness and scarring, less muscle weakness and reduces the need for additional surgical procedures compared to traditional surgical releases.
The Orthopaedic Hospital Clubfoot Clinic is led by Dr. Zionts and offers the professional services of an experienced pediatric orthopaedic surgeon skilled in the Ponseti treatment technique, physical therapists, cast technicians, orthotists and a music therapist to keep the little ones entertained as their casts for the treatment are applied.
“The parents of our patients have been instrumental in reaching this milestone by reliably bringing our little patients in to the clinic and most importantly tending to the crucial task of keeping their infants in the post-corrective braces. The role of the parents to the success of this technique should not be underestimated. It is really a team effort,” comments Dr. Zionts.
In an otherwise normal foot, correction of clubfoot can be achieved within two months or less, if treatment is started within 7-10 days of birth. Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, a professor emeritus at the University of Iowa, developed this minimally invasive method for clubfoot treatment that has been successfully implemented in several centers worldwide.
For nearly a century, doctors have used surgery to correct clubfoot deformity. By releasing ligaments and tendons, doctors were able to place an immature foot into a more normal position. Unfortunately such surgery led to pain and stiffness by the time the patient reached adolescence. “The Ponseti treatment was developed in the 1950s, however the technique was slow to win acceptance by orthopaedic surgeons who preferred surgery to treat patients with clubfoot. The superior results of this method have been reported from a number of centers and it is rapidly becoming the standard of care for the treatment of children with this deformity,” says Dr. Zionts.
Notable figures who have been affected with clubfoot includeKristi Yamaguchi, “Dancing With the Stars” winner and 1992 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, world-renown soccer player Mia Hamm and football great Troy Aikman.
Clinic Details: The Clubfoot Clinic is located at the Orthopaedic Hospital Outpatient Medical Center, 2400 S. Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90007 by appointment. Staff is bilingual and all types of insurance are accepted. Call (213) 741-8330 for further information.
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Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital (OH) is a recognized world leader in orthopaedic patient care, education and research, resulting in an improved quality of life for children and adults with crippling disorders. For nearly a century, OH has been helping children afflicted with these conditions to lead healthy, active lives, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. The hospital is supported by the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation and is expanding both its treatment and research facilities. In an alliance with UCLA, a new Orthopaedic Hospital for inpatients is under construction in Santa Monica and the world-class Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center recently opened on the UCLA campus. It is the largest and most sophisticated musculoskeletal research facility in the world. www.orthohospital.org.
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