My name is Alexandra and I am Greek. I have a son, Apollonas who was born with his right foot clubbed (equinovarus) and his left foot had the mildest type of talipes, metatarsus varus. We found out about this condition when I was 21 weeks pregnant in the usual ultrasound. I was shocked and sad and I started seeking for information right away through the internet. My husband wasn’t aware at the moment what clubfeet means, but I knew a lot more because one of my first cousins was born with bilateral clubfeet.
My research brought me to the ponseti method and it seemed very optimistic, although the casts up to the groin looked a bit uncomfortable and scary. I wish I was then more aware of what I am aware now.
After our son was born we started visiting doctors. I had a list of doctors that I found through forums, and all of them were tried by a parent and proved efficient. After a few visits and some calls that came with no answer we started casting with a doctor that seemed quite experienced. When I asked him about the ponseti method he didn’t give me a clear answer, just that what he is doing is casting and surgery could be an option that hopefully we could avoid. As it turned out, he was not trained with the ponseti method.
It was difficult with the casts. Our sweet baby was screaming and kicking when they tried to apply the cast, and twice his leg was bruised so bad after the removal of the cast that he had to stay with no cast for ten days in a row. I can’t begin to describe the emotions… I just wanted this whole thing to come to an end.
Finally he had a surgery when he was 2 and a half months. It wasn’t tenotomy. It was a bigger surgery to lengthen the achilles tendon and the whole procedure took maybe half an hour to 45 minutes. Then he had two casts for 15 days each.
After the removal the foot was corrected. We were so happy! BUT…. the doctor didn’t put braces, just these little shoes called bebax, and those not even right away, but after a week. After a while we decided that we should see someone else, especially after the reading I did about the importance of the splints. We managed to find two of the doctors we were trying to reach in the beginning. The last doctor that saw him, who is trained with the ponseti method said that the foot is flexible and that he must wear the braces every night. No exceptions.
Our boy started walking when he was one year old. Now at 20 months old he runs, plays with his ball, and climbs everywhere. No one can detect a problem unless they know his history. I hope that we won’t have to enter a surgery room ever again!
Good luck to all and keep your spirit high!