We have something wonderful to share: after four and a half years of clubfoot treatment and visits to Shriners Hospital for Children, we had another follow-up visit. Watch the video to see what happened!
We are finally done with boots and bar!
I went into this appointment fully expecting to have to wait another six months — one of his feet/legs is weaker than the other and we had been working on hops, and put him in gymnastics and dance to help strengthen it, but it’s still not at the same level of the other foot.
If I’m being honest, I felt kind of like a failure as a parent — it was very hard to force exercises daily and I didn’t fight for it every time. It felt a bit like it was our fault that his weaker foot wasn’t catching up, because we weren’t doing enough to exercise it. There are so many battles to fight with four-year-olds, and often making him do hops and balance exercises wasn’t the one we picked.
But he showed his doctor the hops he could do (holding my hands) and she told us the form is good, the feet look great, his gait is good, and she was comfortable ending bracing! Now we’ll work with a physical therapist to make sure both feet are strong and at the same level, but we are finally DONE with boots and bar!
It feels so freeing. Jonas had never been one to complain, the boots were just part of the bedtime routine.
But sometimes his knees would hurt in the morning, the bar forces his feet shoulder-width apart so you can imagine it causes some awkward sleeping positions. And he’d get tangled up in thicker blankets so we used a sleep sack for a long time, or tried to find smaller blankets that wouldn’t get him stuck.
And of course, something you don’t think about early on is that it causes some complications for potty training, since your child is stuck in bed once the boots are on. Our solution was to keep using pull-ups at night since we were sort of stuck with it, and he was complaining about having to keep wearing those.
Now, we’re free, and we are all thrilled!
He can finally graduate to his “big boy bed” (sharing a trundle bed with his baby brother) because there’s no more risk of accidentally whacking him with the bar at night, and we decorated their room in his favorite outer space style to make it extra special 🙂
We’ll still continue to have some follow-up visits, in six months and then every year for a while, but the main treatment is over and we’re hopeful that there will be no sign of regression as he grows up. Onward and upward.
Happy BnB graduation day Jonas, we are so very proud of you!
PS: We shared some of our story in this documentary on clubfoot treatment around the world and the Ponseti method, you can watch it here for a more in-depth understanding of clubfoot and how it’s treated. The bottom left photo is one of Jonas’ feet the day he was born!