Congenital Talipes Equinovarus

Isaac’s Clubfoot Story

Our baby Isaac who was born in Taiwan July 27, 2005 has clubfeet. Believe it or not, we didn’t experience such a shock or desperate sorrow from his feet situation. From our six times of ultrasound, we didn’t get a tiny piece of news about any kind of deformity. When our baby showed up with a pair of twisted inward abnormal feet we just had the faith that God will definitely heal him. And we simply believed that the treatment was just some massages at home in our leisure time (our male midwife said so). If we had learned that how many troublesome moments were waiting for us on the way we could have had lost our heart and not have been so optimistic. Thank God using our poor knowledge on this field to protect us and keep His joy and peace in our heart.

So we went to see a orthopedic doctor in Taiwan and started the treatment there. After four times of weekly changing casts we saw a lot of progress. Yet we were not satisfied with the doctor (if you are a Taiwanese I am sorry to say that. I didn’t mean to despise your medical caring level since the situation in China mainland are even worse). When we had to stop our treatment in Taiwan because of my job expired and we needed to go back to China, we could not find even one qualified doctor in this area to handle our baby’s situation.

We started surfing the internet looking for relevant information frantically and meanwhile went a couple of times to Kunming meeting some experts who twisted our little baby’s tiny feet harshly (when they did that I felt my heart being squeezed) and promised that if we did it their way and wore their magic splint boots our son would be cured. Fortunately the searching of internet ended up finding one qualified doctor in Shanghai of China where is about two thousand kilos from Yunnan and another one in Bangkok of Thailand. If you learned how inconvenient to see a doctor in China and how terribly high price of the accommodation in Shanghai are you would agree that we went to Bangkok is a wise decision. Currently we have stayed in Bangkok about a month (mostly Melody, and I went back and forth). The doctor God has prepared for us is called Dr. Amnuay. If you log in the website www.clubfootclub.org you would find his name on the qualified doctor list, who uses Ponseti method to treat clubfoot.

The Ponseti method is the most popular and the most effective nonsurgerical way to treat clubfoot. Dr. Amnuay explained that the main part of treatment consists of manipulation, serial casting, heel cord cut and wearing brace. For correcting the deformity,the manipulation must be done on the right way to avoid making the feet worse, called rocking bottom, which is a situation that cannot be corrected. Now we understand why God led us to Bangkok for treatment because the doctor said if Isaac’s feet were continuously manipulated in Taiwan and in China, Isaac’s feet would unavoidably become worse.

In Bangkok, Isaac has had five times of weekly casting. His feet showed an over-corrected look, which is the treatment trying to achieve. This Tuesday, we had the Achilles tendon cut under local anesthesia. The Tuesday before, Dr. Amnuay said that he was going to do the tenotomy under general anesthesia, but Melody wasn’t comfortable with that so the surgery was done under local anesthesia. It’s a very small surgery that the main purpose is to cut his heel cords. I was invited into the operating room so that I was able to help out with something like holding Isaac’s feet and leg while the doctor was putting on the casts. Meanwhile I took some picture also. It’s not a scary scene at all. You may say that it’s because I am a doctor (ENT) but don’t forget that I am his father and never able to play a doctor’s role in the family. The operation is a simple procedure. Because the cut is so small that the doctor described it as a mosquito bite (if you have seen the swellen and redness on Isaac’s forehead and arms of the mosquitoes bite you would say that it is not small at all ) you are hardly able to recognize the cut after three or four weeks later when the cast is taken off. According to our doctor, this surgery was successful. He said that he could not promise a 100% of cure to Isaac’s situation, at least a chance like 90% up.

For the easiness of your concentration, I will just stop here with a grateful heart.

Charles, Melody & Isaac

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