GW’s Club-Foot

I have posted a little bit about GW’s club foot. When we found out it was so early in the pregnancy we had a lot of time to prepare, educate ourselves, make inappropriate jokes. I don’t think we were fully prepared for how long it would take to correct his foot. We had been told, but I don’t think it sunk in for a long time (at least for me).

GW's foot the day he was born

GW’s foot the day he was born

I remember going to his first doctors appointment the week after he was born for his first cast. I remember bawling my eyes out right a long with GW when the doctor startedmanipulating the bones in his little foot. I remember Granna coming over the next week to try to help me get the cast off before his appointment. I remember when that became the “normal” for us.  I remember being so excited after 3 months  my little guy would move into his shoes with braces on them.

Shoes & braces similar to these where his first ones

Shoes & braces similar to these where his first ones

I remember when his foot reverted and he was back in casts again for another two months and then placed back in the shoes and braces. All this in the first five months of his little life. I remember my son being so good-natured about each doctors visit, each cast removal, each new cast. I remember when his little foot reverted for a second time and learning he was going to have surgery. This scared me more than anything he had to so far.

GW was a champ during surgery. He fell asleep before the anesthesiologist came to get him. They did the surgery and casted him yet again. This cast was for 7 weeks (it was actually 2 castings for that length of time). When we were getting him dressed to leave, he as laughing and flirting with the nurses.

During this period we had applied to the Shriners Hospital for Children. The cost of the shoes was going to be more than we could afford and insurance wouldn’t cover  them. Our application was accepted and about 2 weeks after GW was out of his casts we had our first of many trips to St. Louis.

Our first trip consisted of blood samples for DNA testing (from all three of us) to help Dr. Dobbs find the gene that causes club foot. GW had x-rays of his feet & hips, photographs of his feet, and finally an examination of his feet. Dr. Dobbs had invented a new brace that articulates so GW advanced pretty well in the crawling and pulling himself up stages.

Dobbs Bar

Dobbs Bar

When we first got this bar he was to wear it 23 hours a day. That took some serious planning. We planned bath times and other events as much as we could around the times that he would be able to be out of the bar. We were in this time frame for about a year. When summer came around we planned swimming times around his free hours. We went back to Shriners very three months for a check up. Eventually the hours he had to wear the bar were shortened, 23…20…18…16…14…12. For the last 6 months it has been at bed time only. He was always good about wearing the shoes. They were kind of comfort for him since it was all he had ever know.

GW's feet Jan 2011

GW’s feet Jan 2011

Finally, at the beginning of December 2012 almost 4 years later our little man was given the ok to stop wearing his braces. The doctors were so pleased with his foot.  Some times when I really look I notice his right leg is a little thinner then his left. Some times when I really look I notice the differences between his feet.

Now at the age of 4, GW moves at the speed of run.

The foot showing in his kick is his club foot.Photo via Kickpics, LLC

The foot showing in his kick is his club foot.
Photo via Kickpics, LLC

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