Hi all, I am a 58 year old male born with Talipes in both feet…bummer! I had casting and wore night plasters for the first 14 years of my life, along with nightly physio that my parents gave me (forever grateful) and fortnightly visits to a professional physio.
I had two surgeries, one at 9 and one at 11. They told me to stop playing football…all sport at 14, so I did. I was the annual guinea pig, trotted out for University Physio students in lectures (which I never minded, if it was going to help somehow). But I was rather gifted with hand eye coordination and therefor good at all ball sports; I became disillusioned with the specialists opinion, so after 4 years, I started playing football, cricket, golf, tennis, even squash at a senior level again, without injury or further affliction. I started to back my judgement about me, not theirs.
I refused fusion surgery when it was suggested at age 30, I have kept my weight under control all my life, I refuse drugs for this condition and I live with modest discomfort. I wear normal shoes (I do churn through them though), I excise a hard circular callous growth from under my right foot every 4 weeks or so with scissors, which is getting more difficult as I get older. I can tell my hips are getting worn out, as are my knees for all the compensation they’ve had to do for my dodgy ankles.
Why am I banging on like this? We all need to understand that the condition is more extreme in some than others but its different in all of us….when you have extremely limited flexibility in a critical joint like ankles, the tiniest shift can have a profound impact. By shift, I mean an extra millimetre in your shoe heel, a very slight variation in your gait, a slight weight increase that your ankles have to support, poor diet or social habits that weaken your constitution slightly, but your talipes lots. I might have the fusion thing (Triple arthrodesis) one day but not till I have embarked on the Yoga, fishoil and other joint pain reduction tricks…and lets face it, we all wear out sometime!!!! I really hope this gives some of you food for thought about your lifestyle and your perception of yourself and your condition.