Today we had our much anticipated visit with the pediatric orthopedic doctor. Levi was born with bilateral congenital clubfoot. Basically both of his feet were turned inward. Clubfoot affects about 1 in 1,000 babies, most of whom have a family history of this, and occurs twice as often in boys. Since we do not know anything about Levi's family history, it does make things slightly more complicated. The doctor repeated what we have heard several times....that Levi's feet were fairly mild. Typically this would be a good response, and in most ways it is. We had initially believed he would 100% need surgery to correct his left foot, as he had his right foot surgically corrected last June in Russia. The complications he experienced due to the anesthesia nearly took his life and we thank God that He did not allow the second surgery to be completed there. Today the doctor said the he believes that the common Ponseti method (a series of castings) would likely be successful for Levi! We were extremely relieved that he may not have to face another surgery.
That being said, because his feet are mild, and he is 18 months old, the doctor did suggest that there could be an alternative cause to his condition. He said that typically the feet tend to get worse over time. If Levi's foot was turned completely inward he would have been convinced it was just a genetic form of clubfoot. His concern is that it may be neurological, given our lack of family history, and the lack of severity. It may have something to do with his spine (he explained this in great detail and I would massacre it if I attempted to explain as he did!). This is not a definite, but he has suggested an MRI to rule out this possibility because if it is the case his feet would slowly return to this position regardless of the treatment. He said that a fairly simple surgery would have to be done to correct his spine if this were the case......and we're back to surgery. So we are hesitantly relieved. And yet....confident that God is in control!
Fortunately he was able to put the first cast on immediately today so we did not have to wait and return. I say fortunately, but Levi likely disagrees at the present time. Oh he is so sweet...he watched with great curiosity as they put the cast on....he was truly the perfect patient. Okay, at first. In time he just didn't want to sit there, restricted, any longer...and my heart broke for him. All I could think about was running the bath tonight for Caleb and how Levi would only be able to watch. He adores bath time He hears the tub filling up and is there in an instant ready to throw himself in! And he has been so proud of how he can walk while pushing toys, or climb onto the couch. And now he is restricted once again. I know he will adjust and I know it's for his best interest. It's just hard to watch.
It reminds me of how often times God has to make us uncomfortable...restrict us a little, or maybe a lot, and watch us experience some pain or discomfort....all in our best interest. If only we could see that it is for our best...if only I could help Levi understand it is for him...for his good....so he, as Caleb so eloquently put it last night, can walk and run and jump on the trampoline!