Recently I shared the story of what it has been like dealing with my 17 month old son having been born with a club foot in a three part post series. I have received a few questions via , our and by email! Thank you so much for reaching out, my whole point in writing these posts was to give some much needed, updated information on club feet. When I went researching after finding out via ultrasound, there was not much new material online and A LOT of negative, depressing stories from years ago. So if I can at least help one other mother in a similar situation as ours, that was my goal!
Q: What does your sons foot look like now? You mentioned you can tell, so what are the differences?
A: Now that our sons foot is turned out like a ‘normal’ foot, there are still some slight differences from his one foot to the other. For example, his heel is a little more rounded at the back of the leg. The main bone in the ankle more pointed and visible. He is lacking some of the muscles on the top of his foot (by the ankle bone) so there looks to be extra skin there. It was stretched out when the foot was turned inwards, so there is a little extra skin there now. The doctor has told us that this will be less noticeable as his foot grows. His leg itself is not as muscular – his calf looks smaller than the left leg – this will always be the case. His right foot is also a little smaller, but we are fortunate that as of right now, it is not that much smaller that we need to buy different sized shoes, and hopefully as his foot grows, it will stay this way!
Q: What sort of shoes does he have to wear during the day?
A: Now that he only needs to wear the brace/shoes for bedtime only, he is able to wear any sort of shoes we/he wants during the day!
Q: Would it not have been easier to have a one time surgery than go through all the brace wearing? That seems kind of mean for a new baby/toddler!
A: The old method of correcting a club foot was always surgery. They would take the whole foot apart and reconstruct it. From everything I have read and from what the doctors told us, this was way worse than having to do the Ponseti method of casts and braces. It wasn’t as simple as having a one time surgery and so be it, most people had numerous problems as the foot grew, meaning more surgeries. Some feet did not grow properly and the child wouldn’t be able to walk. Or they would have problems down the road as an adult. Believe me, at first the whole idea of casts on a 10day old, and braces/shoes till 3 years old seemed so mean, how could we do that to our child!? But seeing the results as quickly as we did, and how well our new baby did with the casts, and with the brace (once we got the right one for him) assured us, that it was natural to him. He knew no different as that is what he always had to do! Studies show a ’normal’ life once the process is over, so 3 years of it compared to a lifetime of normal leg use was/is worth it!!
Q: What causes a baby to have club foot? What is the likely hood of you having another baby with it again?
A: We were told that it is usually a genetic thing. We couldn’t find anyone withing both our families that had had a club foot. Usually it happens with a first child, but our daughters feet were both fine. The likelyhood of us having another baby with a club foot would be a 50/50 chance. Same with our son, once he is at the age to have children, his children will also have a 50/50 chance of being born with one or both club feet. Our daughter has a higher chance of this as well since it is mainly genetic based. Since we couldn’t find a link, the dr said it could just be the way the fetus was positioned, and as he grew the leg was just set this way. But it usually has nothing to do with lack of space in the womb or anything that I did when I was carrying him.
If you have any questions about our journey with our son’s club foot, please don’t hesitate to ask! For more information on the Ponseti method. please see Ponseti International. For more information on the Dobbs Bar that we use (and LOVE!) please see their website here.
Here are the links to my first three blog posts: