Jesse’s Club Foot: Good News and Bad News

Cast #5

When we arrived at Shriner’s last week, I thought we would exchange cast #5 for #6, and hopefully get definitive word on whether or not Jesse would need surgery on his Achilles tendon, based on the X-ray.  When Dr. Aiona entered the exam room, he had a perplexed look on his face and tentatively said, “Well, the X-ray looks ok …”  Uh-oh.  That’s not the fantastic news we were hoping for.

It turns out that Jesse’s foot is just not “fitting the mold,”  (surprise, surprise … he’s one of ours!) and has his doctor a little puzzled.  The Achilles tendon is not tight, and Jesse’s foot has plenty of dorsiflexion, so there will be no need to cut the tendon (Hurray!!).

But, there are a couple of bones in his foot that are not lining up correctly, and the only thing we can do about it is “wait and see.”  Hopefully, as he grows and his muscles develop, his muscles and tendons will pull those bones into place.  I’m not sure what happens if they don’t …

Also, the tendons on the top of his foot seem tighter than they should be – near the area where the bones aren’t lining up.  The doctor said it’s almost as if his foot is bending in the middle of the foot instead of at the ankle.

Here is what his foot looked like after the cast was removed:  In the profile picture you can see the “bump” on the top of his foot from the misaligned bones.  He is also very flat-footed, with no arch whatsoever.

But, Dr. Aiona felt that another cast wouldn’t do any good, so we moved on to bracing.  He is supposed to wear this contraption 24/7, and then we will head back to Shriner’s in a month for a check-up.  Yes, a whole month without a trip to Portland!  That will be nice.

"Awww, Mom! All the other newborns are wearing Robeez!"

The first few days, he was incredibly fussy with these shoes – even more so than with the casts, but he has become more used to them now.  We’ve all had to learn how to live with these braces, which has involved several modifications, like a pillow for his feet to rest on at night and cutting the feet off of all of his little outfits.  Luckily, I can still wear him in the baby bjorn, which is his favorite place to be:

The shoes are starting to give him a pressure sore on his left foot, so Shriner’s is sending me some special padding to put inside the shoe.  Hopefully that will help, but meanwhile we get to leave his shoes off for longer periods of time, as long as we are massaging and moving his foot.  The longer he’s been out of the cast, the better his foot looks to me – and the tendons that were tight on the top of his foot seem to be loosening up.  He still has the “bump,” though, so we would appreciate continued prayers for healing and proper bone alignment.

Meanwhile, he’ll be wearing the brace until he can stand up on his own … then he’ll only wear it at night for the next 2-4 years.  Jesse, no one could make them look cuter than you do, though!

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5 thoughts on “Jesse’s Club Foot: Good News and Bad News

  1. Oh my gosh, HE’S SO BIG!!!!! It’s amazing the difference a few weeks can make! 🙂 He looks like a totally different baby.

    Sorry the news wasn’t TOTALLY good news, but God is good, and Jesse’s tough, so I know things will turn out just fine. You guys are definitely in my prayers. Hang in there.

  2. I stumbled onto your blog today and wanted to say hello. My oldest son (Matthew) was born with a neuromuscular left club foot. He has nerve damage that has made his clubfoot treatment difficult. He is now 7 yrs old and has been in casts as recently as 8 weeks ago.

    I understand the ‘not normal’ clubfoot. We are now seeing Dr Dobbs in St Louis to help with Matthew’s difficult foot.

    I wish Jesse (and your family) all the best.

  3. Pingback: Jesse’s Club Foot: An update | Matthew Nicholas Vawter

  4. i have to say this brings back alot of memories for me as i was born with this birth defect as well. my foot was like his not bending at the ankle so much as bending in the middle of the foot..i remember wearing the bar at his age b4 i could walk….i had forgotten all about this during my quest in figuring out all the possibilies of what is causing me such pain in my feet…well pain is everywhere but caused from many different issues…i ddnt realise the aquilles tendon or other foot tendons were effected..i was diagnosed a week ago with degenerative osteo arthritis in every joint of my body and aquilles tendonitis…and well mre but its irrelavent…..i am def going to speak to my nuerlogist about this….i am just posting this as a source of future reference in case its needed later n for jesse..every1 is different but without docume ntion and info we wuldnt have success….at 47 my feet are sooo extremely painful and i sincerely hope lil jesse does not have this fate…ty for reading

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