Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ortho to the Rescue

What in the world is wrong with Jaycee's feet?

I asked myself this question this winter. As she recovered from an illness that severely weakened her muscles, she slowly got her strength back. She learned to walk again but her feet turned out. Of course, her feet have always turned out a little bit, but this was noticeable. In fact, I got her a cute pair of winter boots like normal, but she couldn't walk very well in them. She didn't walk very well in any shoe that wasn't supportive. Basically, she needed to wear tennis shoes all the time to walk easily.

When she was barefoot, my inspections continued. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong, but her feet looked odd when she was standing, especially her right foot.


Her foot rolled in and it was noticeable around the ankle area. Her feet are flat too. I'm not sure if this has always been going on and it was mild, so I didn't notice. Or, maybe it did all start after her illness due to muscle weakness and some weight gain. After months of waiting for things to improve, I finally did something.

I took Jaycee to a pediatric orthopedic professional. She told me Jaycee needed physical therapy and not orthotics. Ok, I was fine with that.

A few weeks later, I took Jaycee for a physical therapy evaluation at the same pediatric hospital. The person did note weakness but also recommended orthotics for her feet.

Really? Sometimes navigating the special needs world makes me want to throw my hands up and scream! I was glad that I met someone that agreed she needed some orthopedic support, but I just wish the first person would have came to that conclusion.

Fortunately, an orthopedic person was in the physical therapy office the day we was there. They took casts of Jaycee's feet. We picked out Jaycee's favorite colors for the straps (shades of green).

A few weeks later, we went to the lab to get her new "braces." Here they are:

These are to be worn with shoes to help her when she's standing and walking. But this picture is to give you an idea of what they look like. 

Here they are with the shoes on. The shoe hides most of it. I had to buy extra wide tennis shoes and taller socks. No more walking into any old store and buying shoes.

I hope this helps support Jaycee's feet better. We're in the process of breaking them in right now. She's tolerating them so far.

So, we are officially in the world of orthotics now. Add that to our list of things to do each day. But, if it helps, it will be worth the time and energy.

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