Villingen Clubfoot Walking Orthosis

GEORG NEFF, MD, SEPP HEIM, ANDKLAUS FISCHER


The original Villingen clubfoot orthosis was developed by L. Biedermann, CPO and W. Coenen, orthopedic surgeon, in Villingen, Federal Republic of Germany for "rebellious" (relapsed) clubfeet. The most important difference between the Villingen orthosis and others in the dynamic correction of the deformity by weight-bearing as the child walks or stands. The orthosis is used predominantly by children older than a year, but can be used for younger patients.

Corrective features include a supracondylar support serving as a stabilizer to control rotation of the foot. Two sidebars with limited plantarflexion in the upper ankle joint are riveted to the polyethylene foot component. The foot component guides the hindfoot and supports the anterior process of the calcaneus by a prominent fulcrum, ascending from the foot sole to the lateral portion of the foot shell. Velcro fasteners keep the foot in proper position within the splint. Under weightbearing, the calcaneal tuberosity moves downwards, whereas the anterior process is pressed upwards and medially, improving the position of the calcaneus and the entire foot. The orthosis is very helpful whether for conservative treatment or as a pre- or postsurgical measure.

Department of Technical Orthopaedics, Orthopaedic University Hospital, D-7400 Tubingen, Federal Republic of Germany