“Happy Feet” is the name of our COFFI project for the treatment of children with clubfeet, utilizing the noninvasive Ponseti method.
COFFI found itself with a new and passionate project when visiting Rotarians from Germany and New Zealand proposed to help a child afflicted with clubfeet which they spotted during their visit to Manila in 2007. Clubfoot is a wide spread malformation of the foot or feet which affects one in every 10,000 children. Mostly untreated at birth or in younger years, it needs to be corrected through surgery. We are advocating the application of the non-invasive Ponseti method which has shown a remarkable success rate in children under age 10.
To find out more about each of our Happy Feet children, please click on their photo.
We did not realize at the early stage in 2007, that the clubfoot. “Happy Feet” as we like to call it, needs to be a holistic approach, i.e. not only the physical and therapeutic aspects need to be treated and healed, but also the parent’s and/or caregiver’s full attention and involvement is required. COFFI’s extended livelihood support is necessary to complete the 4 year process to successfully enable our little patient to enter a normal life.
Dr. Julyn Aguilar has been trained in the US at the Ponseti Institute and is applying this method in the Philippines out of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Q.C. and at the adjustment of the first phase. Application of special orthopedic boots with guiding steel bars to be used day and/or night are the critical elements during the second phase. Regular monthly physiotherapy sessions are necessary to restore the muscles and strengthen the lower extremities are tackled during the third phase.
The healing process gets a bit more complicated during the fourth and final phase. The most common complication is when we discover that the orthopedic shoes are squeezing the growing feet and need to be replaced.