Research

The epidemiology and treatment outcomes of clubfoot in a South African tertiary academic hospital

M Thiart, C Fenn, J du Toit, M Burger

Abstract


Background. Clubfoot is a common congenital condition with a global incidence estimated at 1 in 1 000 live births. There is a paucity of information regarding the epidemiology and incidence of clubfoot in South Africa.

Objectives. To describe the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and the treatment outcomes of children with clubfoot who were treated at a tertiary hospital in South Africa. A secondary objective was to determine the incidence rate of clubfoot in our direct catchment area (within 40 km from Tygerberg hospital) for the study period.

Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all records of children with clubfoot from 2014 - 2018. Demographic and clinical information, treatment progression and short-term outcomes including early relapse were collected. A subset of the total cohort, including only clubfoot patients from the direct catchment area of the hospital, together with the number of live births in the direct catchment area, was utilised to calculate the incidence rate of clubfoot in our setting.

Results. A total of 197 patients were included over a 60-month period. Two-thirds of the patients were male (63.5%; n=125). A positive family history was reported in 12.2% (n=24) of cases, and 88.8% (n=175) and 11.2% (n=22) of patients were diagnosed as having idiopathic clubfoot or syndromic clubfoot, respectively. Relapsed clubfoot was diagnosed in 22.9% (n=40) and 22.7% (n=5) of patients with idiopathic and syndromic clubfoot, respectively. The overall incidence rate of idiopathic clubfoot in our direct catchment area was 1.02 per 1 000 live births.

Conclusion. The epidemiology, treatment outcomes and incidence rates observed at our institution are like those reported globally. We report a low positive family history and relapse rate, which could be under reported and should be the focus of future investigations.


Authors' affiliations

M Thiart, Division of Surgical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

C Fenn, Division of Surgical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

J du Toit, Division of Surgical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M Burger, Division of Surgical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2022;16(1):28.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-02-14
Date published: 2022-02-14

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