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Seek treatment constantly to cure clubfoot: Doctor

Published on: Friday, March 28, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Parents with children who suffer from Congenital Talipes Equino Varus (CTEV) also known as 'clubfoot' are advised to seek treatment constantly for better treatment results.

Sabah Health Department Deputy Director (Public Health), Dr Jamail Muhi said children with CTEV should go for medical check up every week at for least four to six weeks to gradually stretch and change the plaster of paris cement applied to treat the deformity.

"If late treatment was given, then it would be difficult to model the child's legs," he explained.

Orthopaedic Clinic Specialist, Dr Edewet Anak Daun also said that when treatment is given as early as the child's age of around two weeks old and continuously receive treatment, then the child will not necessarily carry on with the treatment by the time he or she reaches four to five years old.

"It is also important for the child to wear a special type of shoes to ensure the correction will not get undone until he or she is five years old.

However, it depends on the situation as there is a six per cent chance for the deformity to return, then it is advisable for the child to wear the shoes until he or she reaches the age of eight," he said.

Daun also said that by the time the child reaches the age of eight, his or her legs would return to normal and the patient can lead a normal life, even playing football as the muscles of the legs are matured.

"Usually when the child reaches the age of eight years and after going through treatment, their legs would be stable, flexible and no longer painful. They can also wear shoes sold at the market," he said, adding that intermittent treatment would have higher percentage of failure and the child, according to him will not be completely heal even when he pr she reaches the age of seven.

He said this during the launching of the CTEV pamphlets as well as A Day together with the CTEV Patients Programme at the Women and Children Hospital, Hospital Likas here, Thursday.

Daun, earlier in his speech stated that CTEV is a situation whereby an infant is born with an abnormal shape of legs and there are a lot of patients recorded with the deformity every year.

"The deformity can be treated through the Ponseti treatment," he said, explaining that the statistics of CTEV patients in the past and present shows a significant increase in the interiors of Kota Kinabalu.

"This shows that we are in need of skilled health staff in fixing the CTEV casts through the Ponseti technique," he added.

Daun, who is the organising chairman of the programme later said that the programme was held in order to create awareness among the patients who received treatment at their hospital and to continuously seek treatment until they reach the age of six to eight.

He also said from January to March, there are eight CTEV patients undergoing treatment at their hospital.

"In 2013, there were 35 cases of CTEV patients recorded whereas in 2012, there were about 24 CTEV patients recorded," he said, adding that the awareness had started in 2012 and they are able to detect patients within three days compared to previously when they could only get patients coming in after two to three weeks later.

Daun later said that they will soon hold the Sabah State Ponseti Workshop on April 24 and 25 at the Hospital Duchess of Kent, Sandakan to search for interested doctors or physiotherapists in the field, the production of special made shoes, appliance of cement as well as ways of giving advise to long term CTEV patients.

He further explained that there is an 80 per cent chances of the deformity to return in a year if patients refused to continue with the gradual treatment, 40 to 50 per cent for those in two years, 40 per cent in three years as well as 20 per cent in five years.

Meanwhile, speaking on the launching of the CTEV pamphlets, he said that the pamphlets is the continuation of the 1st Sabah State Ponseti Technique For CTEV Workshop 2013 besides giving information to the public about CTEV, creating awareness for early detection and treatment for CTEV cases in Sabah and to give information references of the Orthopaedic Department for further advise and information regarding CTEV.

Also present was Hospital Likas Deputy Director, Dr Cheah Phee Kheng.