​Helping children walk... around the world

The Ponseti International Association is the global leader in training and educating healthcare providers on the treatment for congenital clubfoot. The Ponseti Method was developed at the University of Iowa by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, M.D. This method for clubfoot treatment is nearly 100% effective when used properly by a trained health care provider and is considered the "gold standard" treatment for clubfoot. Health care workers in underprivileged areas of the world with limited access to surgical facilities can be trained to use the method, helping hundreds of thousands of children walk...around the world.

Our Work

In order that each of the nearly 200,000 babies born with clubfoot each year has access to quality treatment, the world needs 4,000 Ponseti practitioners actively treating patients. We are engaged in building the capacity to treat clubfoot, in large part through properly training health care providers throughout the world. You can help make a difference in this crucial international public health initiative.

Training an adequate number of healthcare practitioners who can provide treatment of clubfoot in accordance with the Ponseti Method is the primary responsibility of the Ponseti International Association. Assuming an average incidence of one child born with clubfoot in every 1,000 live births, there are approximately 200,000 new clubfoot cases each year worldwide. Additionally, it is estimated that there are currently nearly one million children with neglected (untreated) clubfoot deformity under the age of 14. Ten years of experience in training healthcare practitioners in the Ponseti Method has indicated that, on average, each properly trained Ponseti provider can treat 50 new patients each year (or one new patient each week) if he/she conducts a clubfoot clinic one day each week as part of an active clinical practice. Since each patient is seen multiple times for serial manipulation and casting, as well as follow-up, 50 new patients per provider per year has proven to be a manageable caseload. Using this estimate, treating 200,000 new cases of clubfoot each year requires a minimum of 4,000 Ponseti-proficient providers globally. This estimate assumes that providers are strategically located in proportion to the clubfoot cases, including in developing countries where 80% of the neglected clubfoot cases are located.

Ponseti International Association (PIA)
Located in the University of Iowa Health Care's International Office, PIA advocates for the use of the Ponseti Method worldwide through international partnerships, PIA-sponsored trainings, development of educational resources, and a global network of support for healthcare providers. PIA works around the world to build the capacity to safely and ethically treat clubfoot.

The Ponseti Method has recently become recognized as the universally preferred method for treating clubfoot. Consequently, there is an urgent need-both in the U.S. and globally- to train healthcare workers in the procedure and to educate parents and physicians about its remarkable benefits.

To address this need, PIA coordinates international training trips where Ponseti experts from the UI and elsewhere travel to developing nations to teach the procedure to local healthcare workers who in turn train others. This "train-the-trainers" approach creates a multiplying effect in each nation, building the capacity for the future generations of children to be treated locally. PIA also coordinates programs to bring healthcare workers from around the U.S. and the world to UI for training.

"Through this association and the partnerships it will foster, our goal is to make Dr. Ponseti's clubfoot treatment available to any child, born with this condition, anywhere in the world." - Jean E. Robillard, MD, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Iowa