Monday, June 3, 2013
June 3, 2013 has been designated by the Ponseti International Association as the first World Clubfoot Day to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti [1914-2009], the developer of the Ponseti Method which has been used to successfully treat congenital clubfoot in thousands of infants worldwide through non-surgical means.
A native of Spain, Dr. Ponseti graduated from medical school at the University of Barcelona in 1936, a day before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and eventually came to the University of Iowa in 1941 to further his training in orthopedics. He joined Iowa's medical faculty in 1944, where he spent the rest of his career. Clubfoot was one of Ponseti's major research interests, and through longitudinal studies he discovered that surgical interventions were often ineffective if not even more detrimental. With gentle manipulations and a series of plaster casts, however, deformed feet could attain normal appearance and function in a majority of cases.
In 1996, Dr. Ponseti authored Congenital Clubfoot: Fundamentals of Treatment (Oxford University Press), and the 2008 second edition currently is available for download in both English and Spanish. The Ponseti Method is actively being taught to healthcare providers around the world, who are implementing it with high success rates in numerous countries. Further information is available on the Ponseti International Association website.