DAFOs Take 2

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L had his bi-annual visit with the orthopedist two weeks ago. I was honestly scared we’d get a lecture. L was doing really well with his DAFOs until he had his hospital stay back in December. His big toe was the best place for his oxygen monitor so I didn’t bother putting him in his orthotics. I didn’t realize how straight his ankles had become from using them until our last day at the hospital when it was very clear his ankles were pronating again. After that, he didn’t seem to tolerate the braces as much.

About a month later, he outgrew them. And that when he started resisting when we tried to get him to wear them. His PT said he’d be fine in them until his orthopedist appointment, but unless he was out and about in shoes he didn’t want them on. He really wasn’t wearing shoes long enough during the day to make a difference.

Luckily, we didn’t get lectured. I think they knew he was at the right age for learning how to take the DAFOs off and have strong opinions on what he wanted (or didn’t want) to wear. I felt we had more of the doctors attention than our first visit, so we were able to ask more questions and gain more information about what is normal and what we need to keep an eye on.

L really wanted nothing to do with the doctor and wasn’t up for cooperating, so Mr Boots had to hold him for most of the exam.

Orthopedist Visit muddybootsanddiamonds.com
Mom, PLEASE! I’m tired of doctors!

The doctor moved L’s feet around and assessed how he was standing. L has knocked knees, which is normal in young toddlers. We were told it becomes more noticeable around 2-3 years, get a lot worse around 4 years, and then typically go back to normal.

By moving and pushing L’s feet around, the doctor determined he has soft joints, which is a good thing. For now L’s flat feet (which I think are part of the pronation issue) don’t pose a huge problem. If he starts complaining of pain then we may need to think about surgery.

As for the ankle pronation, the orthopedist gave us a prescription for another pair of DAFOs. I asked what we were to do if L outgrew them before our next appointment, and the nurse told us that Sure Step has a 1 time replacement policy that is good for one year after getting fitted. This means we’ll be able to call the clinic to get L a larger size if he outgrows this next pair quickly. We can also use it if, for some reason, we lose or break them. This was a piece of information we were NOT told about at our first appointment, or at the clinic where L had his DAFOs made. I was a bit annoyed, as this (to me) seems like a valuable piece of infomration when it comes to children’s footwear, considering how much a young child’s foot grows in 6-12 months.

Our biggest question was: what if L doesn’t want to wear his DAFOs at all? The doctor said that it wasn’t a huge deal; L could wear high-top shoes to help keep his ankles straight. However, if he began wearing out his shoes quickly or complaining of foot pain, surgery might need to be discussed.

I called the clinic the next day to schedule L’s fitting and was extremely disappointed when I was told there were no openings for nearly four weeks. There will be a two week wait once he’s fitted. But now that I know about the replacement policy I can replace them ASAP if he complies with wearing them.

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