KARACHI – Experts said here that around 8,000 children are born with clubfoot, also called congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), each year in Pakistan.
Clubfoot is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both and the affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle and without treatment, people with this deformity often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet, they added.
They were speaking at a four-day “3rd International Biennial Paeds Orthopedicon 2016” held here at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). Focal Person Ponseti International Pakistan, Prof Anisuddin Bhatti, Dr Shereen M Narejo, Prof Ali Muhammad Ansari, Prof Jose Morcuende and Prof M. Amin Chinoy spoke on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Bhatt said that of around 8,000 who are born with clubfoot each year in the country, only five to 10 per cent are treated early without surgery, while others remain untreated, neglected and if treated late they are left with stiff and painful feet for the whole life.
He said that of about 250,000 infants born with foot disabilities each year worldwide, 80 per cent such cases are reported from developing countries and if these newborn babies remain untreated, it causes permanent disability, humiliation.
He informed the audience that the clubfoot is easily and cheaply treated without surgery, saying Ponseti International Association is an international organization working on early, non-surgical intervention of clubfeet management. He said Ponseti method treat newborn, with an especial protocol of treatment and this method is non-surgical, easy, effective, inexpensive, having a successful correction rate of 95 per cent.
Prof Bhatti said that technique for clubfeet treatment is being practiced all over Pakistan by orthopaedic surgeons. At present, there are 24 clubfeet treatment centres in the country and some of them are working in JPMC, Indus Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Civil Hospital Karachi, Civil Hospital Hyderabad and Children Hospital, Lahore.
At the outset, Prof Bhatti underscored the need for setting up such research centres/clinics at district hospitals and teaching hospitals affiliated with medical colleges across the country.