So a while back a mum contacted me in a panic as they had found out their baby had a talipes foot. She struggled to find support from someone that had knowledge of this condition.
I'm hoping that talking about our journey with my son will help any other parents out there, that are not quite sure what to expect.
What is a talipes foot?
Talipes is also known as a clubfoot, where the foot has not developed normally and is in the wrong position. 1 in every 1000 babies are diagnosed with it, its twice as likely in boys than girls and 50% have both feet affected. Some babies can have a mild talipes when born which can easily be corrected with a little physio.
It can be hereditary which is the case in my family, as my brother had talipes on both feet.
Our journey with talipes treatment.
My son was diagnosed with a talipes right foot at our 20 week scan. It's always going to be hard to hear somethings not quite right with your baby but for me hearing this was the only issue was fine. As long as he was healthy that was all that mattered. 😊
After growing up with my brother I knew no matter what our baby would be ok.
From 2 weeks old he started the Ponseti method to correct his foot position. This meant having plasters from his thigh to his foot changed every week.
I remember the lovely physio team commenting on how tiny he was, as he was 6 weeks premature, so when he had his first plaster he was tiny still.
This was replaced every week to 2 weeks for a while to help reposition the foot. It meant lots of hospital visits but in-between the plasters being replaced, my son could enjoy having a bath!
He loved his baths, it wasn't quite where I imagined giving him his first baths but I looked forward to each visit because of this.😊
The worst thing about the plasters was they went so high up his leg that they would quite often end up poo stained from any explosions or leakages! 😳💩
Another reason why I looked forward to his plaster being replaced!😅
Due to the plaster most of his clothes consisted of baby grows, luckily it was the summer so we didn't need to worry to much about him getting cold.
After a few months of plasters and once the talipes was corrected he began to wear a foot brace.
He got used to them quickly and it meant he could wear clothes covering his legs if needed but everything had to have poppers on to allow easy access for any nappy changes.
The brace was like a little skateboard minus the wheels, where the boots attached. Again these were changed regularly at our checkups as he grew.
It was lovely to be told as well that any donated boots and bars given back to the hospital would be reused.
The consultant that we were under takes them to babies in poorer countries to help them have the same amazing treatments that we are provided.🙌🏻
At 5 months he had to have a small op on his ankle. They had hoped it wouldn't be needed but they were concerned as he was growing it was relapsing.
No parent wants their child to have any op at any time but it was so quick and he was absolutely fine.
After another rather large plaster it was back to the foot braces again.
These were worn almost 24hrs a day. Just taking them off for bath times.
These didn't stop him being mobile, he still found a way to get around and his poor cot took a beating from him smashing his boots on the sides!🤦🏻♀️
As he grew and everything remained good with his foot, we could reduce how long he needed to wear the boots.
It was so lovely to be able to get him little baby shoes finally, not that they stayed on his feet for very long!😂
Even when he napped in the day he would still lay with his legs as if they were being held by the brace.
It was such a big deal for us as parents once he was 2 and we were told he could stop wearing the foot brace.
We were worried how would he adjust to not wearing them at all, will it affect his sleep without them? No, he wasn't at all phased by it all😊
Through it all he knew no different, it was all normal for him. He probably adjusted to things better than we did.
It hasn't stopped him doing anything that he wants to do.
He is checked up yearly now and so far so good.
If your looking for support 👣👣STEPS charity provide lots of information about talipes feet and other similar conditions. There are lots of links offering some great support.