Julian’s Clubfoot Story

My son, Julian, was born with a right club foot. He left the hospital with a cast on at 24 hours old, and continued with casting until he was four months old. His foot was not correcting, so he had surgery at 4 months, followed by a long cast for 6 weeks.

At age 1 1/2 when he had learned to walk, his foot was turning in and he stumbled a lot, so we returned to the doctor who recommended a walking orthotic to fit in his shoe and go up just below the knee, and the dennis brown bar at night. Of course it was nearly impossible to get a 2 yr old to sleep with this bar, sandal, and brace at night, but we gave it our best shot.

At age 5 Julian began to do exercises with a physical therapist to gain mobility and strength. We returned to physical therapy this year at age 11 because he is growing, and was having pain. He has limited range of motion in his ankle, but he is able to snowboard and be an active member of a boyscout troop that does a lot of hiking. He has been working with a track and field team for about 6 weeks, doing running exercises and plyometrics.

He can do anything any of his peers can do, and just competed in his first track meet! He has never had anyone make fun of his skinnier leg, and if anyone comments on the surgery scar, he makes up fantastic tales of a shark attack. Julian is so good-natured, that when a boy at his school recently developed Type 1 diabetes, Julian said, “I know my clubfoot is no big deal compared to that.” He does have a lot of heel pain after activities, and good shoes make a difference.

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