Infrared Thermal Imaging for Evaluation of Clubfoot After the Ponseti Casting Method—An Exploratory Study

Balasankar Ganesan, Joanne Yip, Ameersing Luximon, Paul J. Gibbons, Alison Chivers, Suchita Kothe Balasankar, Raymond Kai Yu Tong, Rifai Chai, Adel Al-Jumaily

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Conservative treatment, Ponseti method, has been considered as a standard method to correct the clubfoot deformity among Orthopedic society. Although the result of conservative methods have been reported with higher success rates than surgical methods, many more problems have been reported due to improper casting, casting pressure or bracing discomfort. Nowadays, infrared thermography (IRT) is widely used as a diagnostic tool to assess musculoskeletal disorders or injuries by detecting temperature abnormalities. Similarly, the foot skin temperature evaluation can be added along with the current subjective evaluation to predict if there is any casting pressure, excessive manipulation, or overcorrections of the foot, and other bracing pressure-related complications. Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to explore the foot skin temperature changes before and after using of manipulation and weekly castings. Methods: This is an explorative study design. Infrared Thermography (IRT), E33 FLIR thermal imaging camera model, was used to collect the thermal images of the clubfoot before and after casting intervention. A total of 120 thermal images (Medial region of the foot–24, Lateral side of the foot–24, Dorsal side of the foot−24, Plantar side of the foot−24, and Heel area of the foot–24) were collected from the selected regions of the clubfoot. Results: The results of univariate statistical analysis showed that significant temperature changes in some regions of the foot after casting, especially, at the 2nd (M = 32.05°C, SD = 0.77, p = 0.05), 3rd (M = 31.61, SD = 1.11; 95% CI: 31.27–31.96; p = 0.00), and 6th week of evaluation on the lateral side of the foot (M = 31.15°C, SD = 1.59; 95% CI: 30.75–31.54, p = 0.000). There was no significant temperature changes throughout the weekly casting in the medial side of the foot. In the heel side of the foot, significant temperature changes were noticed after the third and fourth weeks of casting. Conclusion: This study found that a decreased foot skin temperature on the dorsal and lateral side of the foot at the 6th week of thermography evaluation. The finding of this study suggest that the infrared thermography (IRT) might be useful as an adjunct assessment tool to evaluate the thermophysiological changes, which can be used to predict the complications caused by improper casting, over manipulative or stretching and casting-pressure related complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number595506
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • clubfoot
  • evaluation
  • infrared thermography
  • Ponseti method
  • thermal imaging
  • thermography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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