Monday, November 24, 2008

Emma's Orthotist Appointment

Today was Emma's appointment with the orthotist. We expected to go and be fitted for DAFO's (dynamic ankle foot orthotics) and sized for knee immobilizers. Our PT went with us though and she and the orthotist had some talking to do :) The discussion was mostly about two scenarios.. a DAFO and a knee brace or a full leg brace that starts at the hip and goes down to the foot.

Though they talked about it for quite some time, the final decision was that even though the full leg braces are likely what's in store down the road for Emma, they would be too heavy for her unstable hip to support right now. Basically, if we were to pick her up under her arms without providing support for her legs, it could dislocate her hip. So instead we'll be getting Sure Steps (a foot orthotic, the same type that Brianna had) and a custom knee brace that will allow her to flex her knee but not to hyperextend it.

Unfortunately, this plan meant that Emma had to be casted from her thigh to her calf in order for them to make the knee braces. Needless to say, she was NOT happy about this process. Kristopher went down with us as I thought he'd enjoy seeing what they were doing and I was right, he did enjoy it! Though he thought they were going to cut off her leg at one point...

The casting process is just like they do for a broken bone but without the 'stuffing'. The orthotist put a nylon sock over her leg then proceeded to use the wrapping which they dip in water, wrap on the outside of a cast, and it then hardens as it dries. In her cast he put a piece of thick rubber down the back of it so that he could saw it off and not cut her skin :) The electric buzz saw cut into the rubber instead as it went up the back of the leg (yeah, can you HEAR her screaming???) then he took scissors and cut the nylon stocking off.


Anyway, 3 weeks from now we will have another appointment and hopefully have the Sure Steps and custom knee braces to help her with standing and baring weight!

Tell me it was worth it... please, someone tell me it was worth it!!

(PS. I'm so thankful that Mike's Dad took the time out of his morning to watch Brianna and Micah because I have no idea how we would have fit 4 of us in this little office, much less consoled the THREE that would have been screaming by the end! THANK YOU!)


  1. Yes, Meredith, I believe it will be productive for her. DAFOs and leg braces worked well for my nephew who had a similar problem like Emma's. He progressed so well with them. I believe she will to and I believe, even though it was heartbreaking to hear her scream and cry, you will be surprised at her milestones that are ahead! :D

  2. As someone who could now probably cast my own kid's leg if I had to (and who now also hates that saw!), I assure you that it IS worth it!

  3. Oh my! With the meltdown we had at the pediatrician's office with a hemoglobin needle stick and a vaccination last week I can't even IMAGINE what that must have been like for you! However, I will pray that you see the worth over and over again!!! :)

  4. It is absolutely worth it, although I know how hard it is to watch your child go through that. Evan has been through 9 sets of casts and had been fitted for orthotics 3 times now. He screams every time and it breaks my heart, but we have already seen such amazing progress that I know it'll be absolutely worth it in the end! Can't wait to see Miss Emma in her new braces!

  5. It is worth it...She will be proud one day of her independence!