Monday, March 29, 2010

clubbed feet???

I've been late on a few of my posts so I thought maybe this time I could be a little early :)
I wanted to talk about clubbed feet- this is something that we are currently in the process of correcting for Carson, and it has been a little overwhelming not knowing much about it--- I've had to learn as I go. So, I'd like to share my new experience in hope to help. Clubbed feet is the improper rotation of the ankle. It makes the feet curve improperly. It really is a very common occurrence and is more common when a birth defect like Spina Bifida is present. Please note that clubbed feet is not cleft feet (which is split-feet). VERY DIFFERENT!!! I made this mistake when we first received the diagnosis in utero that Carson's feet were clubbed. I thought the dr. said cleft. NO NO NO. I suppose cleft is possible but it is not common.
Clubbed feet are most commonly corrected today by using the Ponseti method. It is subtle manipulation of the foot using casts and bracing. The earlier you begin the correction the better (as I have learned the hard way). Let me add here that you may have to get pushy. :) We were constantly put off on getting started, and I was also told it was no big deal. The reason, I just found out, was they wrote Carson off as it being "necessary" they so rudely and ignorantly determined he probably wont walk so why hurry, or really even bother. We were also told that we should just wait and have the corrective surgery performed around the 9-12 months mark. This was another recommendation based upon him not walking. I googled ( a blessing and a curse) the surgery and found that the surgery is often ineffective and most times more debilitating.
Ok, so getting started is easy--- x-rays, pictures, and then casts. Typically it requires 5-10 casts, changed weekly to correct the foot. After the casting, braces are used full- time for 3-4 months, and then just nightly for 2-3 years. Each case is a little different depending upon the individual's foot.
Today, Carson received his first cast. It bothers me far more than it bothers him. It is awkward. He doesn't fit quite right in the carseat, in the bumbo, on my lap, in my arms, in his clothes. I have resorted to "let's wear onesies" and "let's go back to changing your diaper on your tummy" again. Like everything else though, I'm sure that after a few days we won't even notice, and it will be normal. Weird!! will happen when the casts come off, and Carson has miraculously lost some weight. :) LOL!! such is our journey.

1 comment:

Meilani said...

My daughter has spina bifida. She was born with both feet clubbed. So we did this whole casting process last year about this time. She was about two months old when we started. It was a hard time, having to go in to the hospital every week, dealing with the casts and so on. But, ultimately I was so glad that we did the casting process. At first we were told that it wasn't worth trying and that we should just wait for surgery at 9months old. Then out of the blue the doctors changed their minds and said that they might as well try and see if it works. She ended up doing very well and so far hasn't showed any need for further work on her feet. I would be happy to send you pictures or to give you more details through email.

ps It has been so great finding this blog. I am really enjoying reading everything.