Research project. Group project | 5 students. February 2018 – June 2018

Clubfoot

Clubfoot is a birth deformity where one foot or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards. Club foot is treated with the Ponseti method. This method consists of two phases. The first is the treatment phase. In this phase the children get several casts, an achilles tenotomy followed by the last cast. The second phase is the maintenance phase. In this phase the children have to wear the Ponseti brace (see picture) 3-4 months for 23 hours a day. After this, they have to wear the brace during night and naps for 2-5 years. The parents have to put the brace on their children themselves.

Ponseti Brace

Now there are no feedback mechanisms for the parents to know whether they applied the brace correctly. This causes a lot of insecurity. In our project we did research to see whether pressure sensors can be used to indicate correct appliance of a clubfoot brace. The research was conducted by applying pressure sensors in the braces of children with clubfeet.

During the tests, different applications of the brace were measured with the sensors (see picture). These results were then compared in order to find out whether a range could be computed which indicated correct appliance. From the results can be concluded that the pressure sensors can be used to measure pressure within the brace. However, no range can be computed due to the many differences between each individual.

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