Maia’s Clubfoot Story

I was born in 1999 (I’m 22 now) with a clubfoot in my left foot. Originally I was supposed to have it corrected non-surgically, but my mum fought for surgery because I was trying to walk aged one, with no improvement with my clubfoot so far. My sister was born 8 years earlier with clubfoot in both feet and she has both operated on successfully aged approximately 3 months. My foot was operated on at aged one and it was successful, and I wore a cast for a few months after this. As far as I know, I haven’t had any further treatment or checkups since around this time, and no major issues with my clubfoot. Growing up, my clubfoot was always about a shoe size and a half smaller than my other foot, and my left calf has always been smaller than my other calf. I also have swelling around my left ankle. These differences never bothered me too much and I learned to accept them.

Fast forward to 2020 during the pandemic, I began to experience severe pain in my left foot, around the ankle joint, whenever I walked, especially long distances. I used to walk everywhere (no car) but due to lockdowns, I became significantly less active. So when I first experienced pain I put it down to becoming more active again and expected it to go away. After several months, I was recommended a very kind podiatrist, who told me that my foot hadn’t been corrected properly after surgery. This means that when I’m walking, my ankle joint is not in a neutral position and I walk slightly on the side of my foot which puts pressure on the joints in my toes. She also said that my ankle shouldn’t be swollen. She said I will develop arthritis if it’s not sorted. This was really upsetting for me as my whole life I thought that my clubfoot was fine. To help with the pain in meantime, she showed me how to massage my ankle to reduce the swelling, how to tape up my foot and also gave me some temporary orthotics for my shoes. This has really helped with the pain and I can function pretty normally now. However, I’ve found when I don’t wear tape or use the shoes, I get worse pain, so I guess I’m pretty reliant on these things now. In the meantime, the podiatrist suggested getting an MRI scan on my foot and wrote a letter to my GP detailing the issues with my foot, so I can get further help. I had an MRI scan a month ago and I’m currently waiting for my results. This is where my story has got to so far!

I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks for reading.
Maia

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