Clubfoot Research

Clubfoot is a congenital abnormality that affects 1 in every 1,000 newborns. Children born with clubfoot have an inward curved forefoot, high arches, and an inverted heel with a downward pointing ankle. Clubfoot structural malformations delay physical mobility and activity in diagnosed children. They can also have long lasting negative effects on the quality of life of these patients during adulthood, especially in the case of recurrent clubfoot. Unfortunately, up to 50% of treated clubfoot patients have a relapse that requires additional casting and/or surgery. Research regarding the origin, post-relapse outcomes, and prevention of congenital clubfoot is limited. Our goals are to address these understudied areas, provide the best patient care, and improve the quality of life for patients with clubfoot. Our research strives to identify and address some of these common clinical dogmas in treatment and outcomes, in hopes to improve care.

Highlighted Work

Zhuang T, El-Banna G, Frick SL. Arthrodesis of the Foot or Ankle in Adult Patients with Congenital Clubfoot.  Cureus. 2019 Dec 29;11(12):e6505. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6505.

Frick SL. Managing Clubfoot Relapses. In Congenital Clubfoot and Congenital Vertical Talus, ed. M Dobbs.  2019.

Dobbs MB, Frick SL, Mosca VS, Raney E, VanBosse HJ, Lerman JA, Talwalkar VR, Steger-May K, Gurnett CA. Design and descriptive data of the randomized clubfoot foot abduction brace length of treatment study (FAB24). Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B. 2017 Mar 1;26(2):101-7.

Alvarado DM, Buchan JG, Frick SL, Herzenberg JE, Dobbs MB, Gurnett CA. Copy number analysis of 413 isolated talipes equinovarus patients suggests role for transcriptional regulators of early limb development. Eur J Hum Genet. 2012 Aug 15. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.177.

Edmonds EW, Frick SL. The drop toe sign: an indicator of neurologic impairment in congenital clubfoot. Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 2009 May 1;467(5):1238-42.

Morcuende JA, Dobbs MB, Frick SL. Results of the Ponseti Method in Patients with Clubfoot Associated with Arthrogryposis. Iowa Orthop J. 2008;28:22-26.

Bor N, Herzenberg J, Frick SL. Ponseti Management of Clubfoot in Older Infants. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Mar;444:224-8. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000201147.12292.6b.

Frick SL. Brief report on the Ponseti method of treatment for congenital clubfoot : The importance of maximal supination of the forefoot in the initial cast to reduce cavus deformity. ORTHOPEDICS. 2005 Jan;28:63-65.

Faculty Contact

Dr Steven Frick

Research Contact

Halle Freiman