Center for Excellence in Clubfoot Research

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children treats more than 100 new patients with clubfeet each year and has more than 1,000 clubfoot-related clinic visits annually. The hospital has established a new research center known as the Center for Excellence in Clubfoot Research, which is dedicated to the study of this disorder. Directed by Dr. Steve Richards, the center will facilitate extensive research into clubfoot - its cause, the effectiveness of nonoperative and operative treatments and the study of gait patterns in clubfoot patients.


TSRHC is the leader among a handful of facilities in the nation that provide two nonoperative treatment methods for patients with clubfeet: the Ponseti casting method and the French functional (physical therapy) method of stretching, massaging and taping. These methods have been shown to be very effective and are most successful if the treatment begins early in the newborn period. In the rare event that complete correction of the foot cannot be achieved or maintained by these methods, surgery is an option.

Throughout the past decade, physicians at TSRHC have been studying the effectiveness of both nonoperative methods and comparing the results with patients who have undergone surgery. Results of these studies have been presented at national and international conferences, such as the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America annual meeting, the International Clubfoot Symposium, Brandon Carrell Visiting Professorship and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting, and have been published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.

Research Collaboration

Through the Center for Excellence in Clubfoot Research, our researchers and physicians collaborate with bioengineers, the Movement Science Lab, Molecular Genetics, orthotists and other experts in the field. The Movement Science Lab at TSRHC has extensive research findings on clubfeet, providing an objective measurement of patients' strength, joint range of motion and gait patterns following treatment. Our Orthotics department works consistently with researchers to develop improvements to the brace used with the Ponseti casting method in order to enhance compliance among patients and ultimately improve long-term outcomes. Our Physical Therapy department has begun performing functional testing on our study participants to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

For More Information

Please view a PDF of information on the Center for Excellence in Clubfoot Research or call the Research department at 214-559-7877 or 800-421-1121, ext. 7877.