My Story as an Eighteen Year Old Girl Athlete

I was born in 1998 with two severe cases of club foot. After birth I had corrective casts for six months, then a little after six months I had corrective bone surgery on both of my feet and ankles. The orthopaedic surgeon repositioned most of my bones in both my feet, shattered my ankles and then pinned and casted my feet. I had casts up to the top of my leg for the first three months after surgery, then I had casts up to my knees up until my first birthday.

Growing up my mother placed me in swim and gymnastics to try and increase flexibility in my ankles. I then played soccer, basketball, tennis and volleyball until I was 17. Playing sports was always a struggle. My ankles were weak, I would roll my ankles very frequently, fight through the pain or take breaks and most of the time my nights after the games were spent taking three Advil and elevating my feet with ice. The pain was sharp, but constant.

Now, I am 18, not playing sports, but find myself working out pretty much everyday. I have problems being on my ankles for too long and recently my feet have been cramping and having sharp pains throughout my bones in my feet. My tendons feel weak in my foot and in my knees. Most importantly I have to massage my feet out after they cramp. It is almost like my feet get stuck in a spot and I have to massage them out of it.
I am not sure if other people have this problem and I am not sure what action to take from here. Please let me know!

6 thoughts on “My Story as an Eighteen Year Old Girl Athlete”

  1. Symiah
    Your comments are interesting. They re-position bones? I never knew what was done til last surgery at 12. Had 14 total, both feet. Had PT every time, weak muscles after time in bed. Crutch walking, especially stairs. Had many outdoors at 12. No more as adult. Not necessary. Main adult concern is shift to walking on side of left foot & calluses, even wearing old shoes made from molds.

  2. Symiah Campbell

    Hey thanks for sharing your story. Just curious have you ever been to Physical Therapy? If so did it help? I’m a current Physical Therapy student and I came to this site to learn more about adults born with clubbed feet, so that I can help a current patient.

    1. Syrian
      Your comments are interesting. I was never told as a child what was done, only of the one at 12, the last of 14 surgeries. They reposition bones? Interesting. I only know about both ankles fused. I know it’s an ankle joint issue & don’t know why I have short scars on the front of my legs below knees. Heel odds were lengthen down back of legs to heels. One was 2x.
      Each time. I had PT to strengthen muscles that deteriorated laying in bed. I did parallel bars & crutch walking til blue in the face! I practiced stairs. Up & down. Had many outdoors at home at 12. No more as adult. Fine. Only loosened 1 staple inside left foot. Main problem is calluses even with shoes made from molds. My “regular shoes” weee 13 1/2 EEE.

    2. Physical therapy restores weak muscles after bed rest following surgery. It also profiles crutch walking, teaching a patient how to be stable, go up and downstairs without fear of falling. Using padded had rest is key since a patient does not lean on crutches under the underarms.
      Physical therapy can also begin some therapy once casts are removed where the front of the foot is slowly pushed upward. These are my Pt experiences in childhood for severe bilateral clubfeet 70 years ago. Surgery began at 3 months, ended at 12 1/2 years.

  3. Perhaps I’ve said it before. I’ recommend a 2nd. Opinion. I don’t know how qq you did sports. Didn’t have Achille’s tendons/heel cords surgically stretch so you could walk flat. My day is long ago in late ’40s-’58, 14 surgeries including both ankles fused.need new foot molds to make modes shoes. Can’t find any. Old forms would reflect feet in my ’40s, not at 71 w/much less weight.
    Good luck, you sshouldn’t be in pain or accidentally injure someone else. Is. Have a pain management specialist who worked wonders 11 yrs. Ago as I struggled to work my slash yr. & retire.

  4. I have never played sports and my right foot is perfect no problems at all i was operated on at age 9 and had a pin in my foot for a few weeks which was then removed and then a plaster cast for 6 months with traction , i was advised not to play sports of any kind and have not done so i am now 50 and my foot still works perfectly

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