Ann R’s Clubfoot Story

Hello everyone,

I have never met, or spoken to, anyone else with a clubfoot. I am 45 years old. My right foot is affected and my lower leg is underdeveloped with no calf muscle, this leg is shorter and I have no or distorted feeling from my knee down. I have minor Spina Bifida and have never been sure what has caused the lack of feeling, the Spina Bifida or early surgery. From what people have said though I can be thankful I am not in more pain.

I had surgery to lengthen tendons when I was a baby and further surgery in my teens when my ankle, foot and big toe were broken and pinned in order to straighten them. I was 21 when my consultant admitted to ‘making a mess of that’. General opinion now is that if I were three years old they would do something about it but have been told at my age they wouldn’t bother!

My experience of surgery was to feel more pain and stiffness, the stiffness causes more pain because the bones have been set rigid so that when I walk there is no ‘give’ causes pressure points. I just get on with it and find my own way around things, it doesn’t bother me except when there is a posh ‘do’ on, because I can’t wear heels and flatties don’t go with dresses, especially when you are only 4ft 10inches tall — that is the only time I have a little weep to myself. What makes me mad is trying to buy shoes-; minimum criteria is they need to be high at the front, wide, flat or wedged and well-made so I don’t ‘go over’straight away, one foot is a size 3 the other a size 13 children’s uk. I have had surgical shoes in the past but my best move was to a private podiatrist who builds insoles into my shoes to compensate difference in leg length and for comfort.

I work in a further education college enabling students who have a disability to progress. I am married with two grown up children. It’s nice to know that there’s not just me.

Bye for now Ann R

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