Ok, so it has been 2 months since I posted on here last. But, I have to get better about it. Call it my 2009 resolution!
First, I will update you on Piper's clubfoot progress. On Dec 19th, we went to Dr. vB, and Piper was put into her Ponseti-Mitchell brace. She is to wear it 22-23hrs/day. She tolerated it pretty well for the first 2 days. Then, blisters started on each of her heels. They were closed blisters at first. We called the doc on 12/23, and he wanted us to come in to make some adjustments to the brace. Well, it was 2 days before Christmas, and making the trip again that soon was just not an option. So, I told him we could come in on 12/29, and we would watch the blisters and keep him updated. He agreed.
Well, Piper's first Christmas present was that the blisters opened on Christmas morning. When Bud was changing her diaper, he noticed some drainage on her socks. So, we decided to leave the shoes off. I know, a big no-no. But, what were we to do? Her blisters were rather red around them, and they just looked painful. It would have been cruel to put the braces on. So, she was braceless for Christmas, and the next few days as well. I did call the on-call doctor on the 26th, and he said to try to pad around the areas, but it just was not working. I consulted with some good resources at work, and we were able to cover the blisters with some skin prep and foam.
We took Piper back to the doc on 12/29. The doc did make some adjustments to her brace. The first and largest adjustment was he turned her shoes in 10degrees (now set at 50 degrees abduction). He also put bandaids over the scabbed blisters, and left socks off for the first day back in the brace (so we could keep a closer eye on the areas). At first, he put the shoes on with out socks, without the bar attached. He really could not see why she had blisters, as the spots were not even touching the brace (they were near the tiny holes in the back to look through). But, as soon as the bar got attached, her feet slightly rotated inside the shoe, and they pushed right up against the braces. Her right foot was pushing so hard that her heel was actually white from the lack of blood supply (like when you push on your fingernail and it goes white). So, that was why he turned the shoes in 10 degrees. When he did that, the pressure came off the areas. Also, Dr. M from Iowa had said to me in an email that complex/atypical clubfoot cases he usually starts out at 40-50 degrees abduction. So, now we're on track with that.
Speaking of Dr. M - I had mailed him some pictures of Piper's feet when she went into the brace. I was just not comfortable still with the appearance of her feet. He said they look OK. He said that her feet will "take on a more normal appearance" when she starts standing/walking on them. I sure hope that is the case. Her left foot still seems to turn in quite a bit when she is out of the brace for the 1-2 hrs during the day. Dr. VB also said that the left foot had tightened up quite a bit for the couple of days that the brace was off when the blisters were open. He wants us to stretch her feet daily, and he said if her feet are not loose enough when we go back in a couple weeks, then he may need to cast her again to stretch them out. Ugh.
So, we'll go back in a few weeks, and hope for the best!