Nicholas was excited to get his replacement brace today. It is made of carbon fiber like the last one and this time thicker! It gives him some push off which makes up for the lack of mobility in his ankle. Nick’s ankle is stable but stiff, which is a common outcome for some people with fibular hemimelia. He didn’t have much motion to begin with so he hasn’t lost any through his surgeries but now with the brace he has a little spring in his step which functionally can make a big difference.
His insert has a lift, cushioning and a shoe filler so he can wear a bigger size. Even with the filler his shoes are a few sizes off. We may get him a bigger filler next time and next time his insert will be attached to the new brace. I am still wrapping my head aroudn this whole thing and hope to post more soon about the technology and reasoning behind the brace. Today getting Nick and Bess to Baltimore and back zapped most of my energy and there is a web chat with the RIAO docs tonight that I don’t want to miss.
As I have posted before Nick can run and do everything he wants without the brace but he says he is faster with it, and I am really hoping it helps preserve his joints in the long run. With my boy just about my height, I really cant help thinking of the future pretty often. We need to do everything we can to keep his leg working as well as it has for him.
Today we also got to see some familiar RIAO friends and meet two new RIAO families. I am always excited for anyone to meet Nick who has a little one with a limb difference so they can see how well he is doing. I just hope that meeting him and chatting helps them feel that everything will be ok. I am not sure if I am able to convery that in the moment. I wish I had believed it way back when.
Update: Here is the more technical description I could not muster. This came care of Dr. Standard on tonights web chat. “Jen- the shoe prosthesis helps with several aspects- gives better dynamic push off, fills the shoe for same size for older kids, allow for more high velocity activities”.