Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Leg Braces

Let's see, this all started in October w/ the recommendation that Ian wear AFO's, hinged ones. That meant they wanted his foot/ankle to not extend past 90 degrees but wanted him to be able to flex his ankle (opposite of pointing).

Why? Well, that damn cerebellitis robbed him of stability & allowed his muscles to reform incorrectly. Specifically, his calf muscle on the left side redeveloped a bit short causing his foot to pronate. They thought it would be a much quicker fix if we got AFO's (ankle-foot orthoses, orthosis = brace). So, hesitantly, we agreed.

You know, no one wants their kids to wear these big bulky braces. That's just the truth. It opens the door for some to ask questions or to assume the worst of a situation. Luckily, we haven't encountered this. Wonder if it is b/c we just don't go out as much? Could be. Also, they are a pain in the ass. Putting them on 2-3 times a day. No fun. Good thing Ian is just an easy going kid. He doesn't seem to mind at all.

We were initially told he would wear them for about 3 months. That came & went in February. I decided to ask the lead PT to come to the house & assess him. The discussion ended in Ian still needing the braces & reassessing his feet in 3 months which coincided w/ the timing to visit Hope Orthotics for a brace fitting follow up.

Then, last month his PT assistant said it was time to take him out of the braces a majority of the time & probably move to something called a Sure Step support system. I was so stinkin' excited! Just in time for the unGodly hot weather that has already arrived. He only had to wear them outside. YAY!

This, of course, was a short lived situation. The lead PT came back out to assess him again. Mind you, the last time we saw George, there was talk of spring loaded braces for sleeping to help stretch out that calf. I was a bit nervous but very hopeful & excited about ditching the AFO's. Did I mention they get stinky? Ewe.

The good news? No spring loaded braces & his right foot is ready to be out of the AFO & graduate in to a Sure Step. The not so good news? His left still needs to be in an AFO. My one leg wonder. Great. 1 big bulky brace.

Eh, progress is progress. My concerns are superficial. In the long run, this is the best time to do this. We wouldn't want him wearing braces later when other kids will notice & tease him. AND, since the AFO's hinder movement, like running, it is better now than later. We are hoping for another 3-6 months in the AFO. Oh, gotta mention that he only has to wear it 75% of his waking/moving hours. At least he gets a little break!

I just keep telling myself that Todd & I will remember, not Ian.


Adi said...

what no crazy anony posts? nothing bad to say about kid in braces huh?

Mom, Wife, Nina said...

Ugh. I feel ya! We just had Lola's cast made for her AFOs rtday. BUT! I am looking forward to them. Only because I see how hard it is for her to try and stand, let alone walk. She'll have the complete AFOs that hinder any ankle movement at all. Not looking forward to the frustration they bring. GAH!!! BUt I AM looking forward to the future, sans leg braces. :D