Joshua Egbert and Family
We would like to thank you, your staff and the internet Virtual Hospital for the information, parent education and patient care that you have given to our son, Joshua Egbert. Our child is now out of the casts and we feel that with your treatment he appears to have a very good chance at functionally normal appearance and active use of his feet. Even our local pediatric orthopedic surgeon who saw our son this week said that his feet look great and as corrected as he would have hoped to get them by doing surgery.
Like any parent, we were concerned about finding the best treatment possible to help our child. Although we believe that our initial pediatric orthopedic physician was very qualified in the surgical training and experience that he had, we kept hoping that there was a non-surgical alternative that was at least as good, if not better. In the first month after birth, we talked to many medical friends and relatives, as well as checked out as many internet pediatric orthopedic sites as we could find.
We found the University of Iowa's Children's Virtual Hospital as well as about 10 other internet sites. The Virtual Hospital's information was clearly the best presentation and most detailed of any internet site. After gathering information, the questions we as parents had to answer were: was your treatment method that sounded so good in writing really achievable and how could we as non-medically trained parents really know what the best treatment method would be for our child.
From all of the information that was available to us, this began a month long quest of calling you and others around the U.S. to ask questions. As you know, this included talking to both those who support and those who don't agree with your treatment methods. Our deepest thanks to all of your associates who took the time to answer and return our calls and gave us some confidence in coming to the University of Iowa to "at least learn first hand". At the beginning, if nothing else we felt that since we were otherwise headed for surgery at 6 months of age; a one to two month detour to at least try a different "casting" technique could not hurt.
As a part of our "education", I have acquired and read your book on Congenital Clubfoot many times. In addition, I have also read Dr.'s Goldner and Fitch's chapter 33 and Dr.'s Atar, Lehman, Grant and Strongwater's chapter 34 in Melvin Jahss's 'Disorders of the Foot and Ankle" (1991); and Dr.'s Thompson and Simons' chapter 5 and Dr.'s Lehman and Atar's chapter 6 in James Drennan's"The Child's Foot and Ankle" (1992). 1 found it interesting that the second chapters in each book discussed problems associated with surgical treatment. I have also talked to 6 other pediatric orthopedic surgeons including some at UCSF, Primary Children's Hospital and University of New Mexico.
During this process, I have become aware that there is not a universally accepted method of treatment in the United States, although most seem to currently favor surgery. Even those who prefer surgical correction have differing techniques and methods. I have read or talked to different sources who have put the percentage requiring surgical correction at between 65-90% of cases, while even Dr.'s Lehman and Atar (from the above books) felt that only 30-50% should require surgical intervention. Your method is the only one that I found that indicated that only 5% of cases needed surgery.
We gratefully appreciate you, your staff and associates for your concern and help in answering our questions and getting us as parents to the point of being willing to travel to Iowa City, learn firsthand of your method and to have our child treated there. If we can be of any help in putting together a parents website, talking to other parents who are trying to decide what to do or bringing our child as a patient to any seminars here in the Western United States we would be glad to do so.
I believe that as more parents have access to and use the internet to research medical issues, that this information will assist many more in making these important decisions with a full understanding of the alternative treatment options available. I hope that at some time in the future, there will be many other pediatric orthopedists that will adopt your technique. Thank you for helping us and our son.
Martin and Allyson Egbert
1270 Imperia Drive
Videos featuring Joshua & his family:
KLAS TV Channel 8 News segment from Feb 2001 – Two Families from Las Vegas traveled to Dr. Ponseti in Iowa for his non-surgical clubfoot treatment between 1999 and 2001. Surgical methods had been the prevailing methods of treatment until then. This video is from February 2001. By 2007, the Ponseti method had become the mainstream initial method of treatment throughout most of the world. http://www.ponseti.info With permission of KTNV TV 13 - Inside Health - Las Vegas, Nevada. e-mail at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqh6AC339Qw firstname.lastname@example.org -
Updates from Martin Egbert on his son Joshua:
Joshua became an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouting program in March 2012 at the age of 12.