A Functional Foot

I mentioned in my last post that Nick’s foot should not need additional surgery or it wont need the surgery I totally thought it needed. It’s in a good position or maybe as good as it gets? From here on out the goal will be to solve any issues from the outside and not with surgery. Hmm new territory for us.

Along that vein Dr. Standard gave us a script for a shoe insert. The insert will make up some of his 2cm difference, provide some cushioning, and be a shoe filler. Nick will get a shoe a few sizes bigger than his foot. I am not sure about this. I heard from another family that their son did not like the shoe filler but Gary (who we met with yesterday at the Lawall AI duPont location) assured me that he could cut the filler off if Nick does not like it. Making an insert smaller is always an option.

I brought this x-ray with me so that Gary could understand Nick’s foot and Dr. Standard had said Gary could call him so that he could explain what Nick needed.


Gary didn’t need to see this and he didn’t need to talk to Dr. Standard. He seemed very confident that he knew what Nick needed. Nick has what they call a “rocker bottom” foot. It’s that middle bump that needs attention. The insert will make it so that all the weight is not all placed there. Nick’s foot did hurt on the bottom one day last week but other wise it has not hurt at all. I am hoping that this insert keeps it that way.

Nick and I actually had a fun afternoon at AI duPont. He said it did not seem like the same place we went to when he broke his arm (we had only been in the er and he really hated it that day lol). Yesterday we had snacks in the lobby and had a great time jumping and hopping on the multi color tile floor in the hallway. Nick said the next time someone breaks a bone we should play that game because it made waiting much more fun. I didn’t bother explaining that when his arm was broken he was in no condition to hop through the hospital.

I wasn’t sure if someone was going to tell us to stop the game. It was not a particularly busy hallway and it was mostly hospital staff around and it’s a children’s hospital. Why not have children (or more accurately mother and child or as Nick would say in our case child size mother and child) laughing and hopping through the halls. I am so grateful Nick could do that. One of the best parts of our hopping game was the smiles it elicited from people walking by. No one told us to stop. I had been in a rotten mood myself and the hopping really cured it. Movement can be magical in that way. I am not a mover by nature. I am like an object at rest that wants to stay at rest and I have always loved sitting still but I can’t deny that movement has huge benefits mood wise. Nick being able to move freely is the point isn’t it?

Back to the functional foot. All the lengthening in the world is pointless without a functional foot. I am so grateful Nick has one. There is no guarantee that it wont have issues in the future. As you can see from the drawing on the image above that middle point where he bears weight could be better… maybe could be shaved down some day where Dr. Standard drew that line. His heal would be better off if it weren’t so high as you can see by the arrows. I don’t know if that can be fixed. But for now the plan is just to work with what he’s got and if all that jumping and hopping yesterday is any indication then what he has is surely enough.

5 thoughts on “A Functional Foot”

  1. I have been reading your blog for weeks now. I was also born with fibular hemimelia and went through two lengthening procedures as well as 27 other operations to correct for things that have gone wrong. This post struck me more than others because I have had issues with a “functional foot” myself. I had a number of bones missing in my ankle that developed arthritic tissue and they ended up having to fuse my ankle. I have little to no mobility in that joint, but I am an active and functioning 23 year old woman. So even though things don’t quite turn out perfectly with the nature of our disability, that won’t stop us from living our lives 🙂


    1. Thanks for sharing Sara! I am glad to hear you are active and functioning!!! Sounds like it’s been a long road but worth it. Are you in the facebook group Fibular Hemimelia and Limb Lengthening Awareness? There are a few adult women there who have shared some of their experiences and you might enjoy connecting with them. I know fh families of little ones like me would enjoy hearing from you.


      1. I have never been in connection with people with fh outside of my hospital here in Dallas– I definitely would love to get connected!


  2. It’s so cool to see posts from adults that have gone through similar surgeries, etc. I’m impressed everyday by Nick and others like him who don’t let FH get in they way. This made me smile big time!!


    1. Me too. I can’t believe how far we have all come. Nine years ago I had never talked to another parent who had a child with fh never mind adults who have fh! Now we have a whole community. I love it.


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