It seems like I’m jumping around a bunch, but it’s for now as I catch up on the last 8 years of life with clubfoot and also how we’re living with it today.
We chose to treat Sporty non-surgically, with a method call the Ponseti method. In short, Ponseti is a series of casts that are used to manipulate the feet to a normal position. If you want a more in depth explanation, see this link.
Sporty had a stubborn left foot. The details are fuzzy, I think she had 7 casts to get into corrected positions, followed by an 8th holding cast while we waited for a spot in the OR. (Remember the hot pink cast!?!) Most children need a tenotomy after casting, this lengthens the Achilles tendon. She then spent 3 weeks in said hot pink casts while her Achilles healed. After casting she wore a brace full time until she was 9 months old (about 6 months). Then we gradually decreased wear until she was in them for 12 hours a day (mostly just at night). We stopped brace wear at 3, some Doctors recommend going until 5. We stopped at 3 because Sporty was starting to take it off at night and we had no indication of the issues to come. She never slipped a cast, never had an issue with her brace, she was a picture perfect case of Ponseti treatment. I also believed if she was going to relapse, she was going to relapse whether it was at 3 or it was at 5, it was going to happen. I had friends who stopped treatment at 2 and have never had an issue and then there was us. It took about a year when I first saw signs of relapse. So at 4 we began our relapse journey.