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Use of Ankle Dorsiflexion and the Dimeglio and Pirani Scores in Predicting Relapse of Clubfoot Treated With the Ponseti Method

      Abstract

      Although Dimeglio and Pirani scores are frequently employed to rate the severities of clubfoot and to evaluate treatment outcomes, it is unclear if these scores predict relapse after treatment. Ankle dorsiflexion has been suggested in recent years to be a promising predictor of relapse. The aim of this study was to investigate ankle dorsiflexion and Dimeglio and Pirani scores in predicting the relapse of clubfoot after treatment with the Ponseti method. We included patients with clubfoot previously treated by the Ponseti method, and retrospectively analyzed their initial ankle dorsiflexion, Pirani and Dimeglio scores, number of castings, and the occurrence of relapse. We analyzed 218 feet of 176 infants with clubfoot who showed an incidence of relapse of 17.0% (30/176). The mean initial Pirani and Dimeglio scores of the feet showing recurrence were significantly higher than individuals with non-recurrence (p < .001 each). We observed a robust association between Pirani and Dimeglio scores and the recurrence of clubfoot at the last follow-up (γ = 0.53, p = .001). In contrast, ankle dorsiflexion was negatively correlated with recurrence of clubfoot (γ = -0.21, p = .001). Dimeglio scores significantly predicted the recurrence of clubfoot (p = .014). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis exhibited slightly better performance regarding the Dimeglio score relative to the Pirani score and ankle dorsiflexion in predicting recurrence. Ankle dorsiflexion and Pirani and Dimeglio scores were related to recurrence in patients with clubfoot. However, the Dimeglio score reflected superior accuracy in predicting the prognosis of clubfoot treated with the Ponseti method.

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