Ignacio Vives Ponseti (1914-2009)
Ignacio Vives Ponseti developed a noninvasive method for treating congenital club foot in the US during the late 1940s. Congenital club foot is a birth deformity in which one or both of an infant's feet are rotated inward beneath the ankle, making normal movement rigid and painful. Ponseti developed a treatment method, later called the Ponseti method, that consisted of a series of manipulations and castings of the club foot performed in the first few months of life. The Ponseti method provided a non-surgical treatment that generally resulted in better long-term outcomes than the surgical procedures that doctors used prior to his work. Ponseti's method for treating congenital club foot improved the quality of life for patients born with the deformity, and his work led researchers to study fetal foot tissues.