On board the Africa Mercy we want to give our patients the best we can! With that thought in mind, it is amazing what is possible when you apply a little bit of plaster, know-how and time to feet.
For many babies throughout the world born with clubfoot, this has been the recipe for healing: the Ponseti method. Developed by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti in the 1950’s, doctors love the Ponseti method because it is cost-effective (especially useful in developing countries), non-invasive (allows great long-term outcomes) and has a 98 percent success rate (WHO). According to Ontarian Kalinda Ramsaran, our rehab team leader, it is the best available treatment for clubfeet.
So how does it work?
The child’s foot is maneuvered into a more correct position and held there by a cast. This process is repeated until the foot is much improved. Often this is followed by a slight cut to the Achilles tendon to release tension. A brace is then used to maintain the foot or feet at the correct angle and prevent clubfoot from recurring. Thank you Dr. Ponseti for devising a way for us to help so many with clubfoot.
Life altering orthopaedic surgeries continue on board the Africa Mercy, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the news with you as patients recover!