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Henry’s Story Part 11 – A Sneak Peak At Henry’s New Foot

Henry's new foot! Henry’s been so much more settled since getting the frame off his leg. He’s sleeping better, feeling more like himself and has no pain which is brilliant!

Getting the frame off has also meant that Henry is now back at school full time. It’s taken some time for him to adjust after three months of half days – come the weekend he’s shattered, but it’s great to see Henry nearly back to himself.

The plaster that was put on his leg when the frame was removed was a non-weight bearing cast which has meant still using the wheelchair and walking frame but he’s actually got very good at hopping – he’s loving his new freedom but I get very nervous seeing him hopping around because he looks so unsteady!

At last the time has come to get the cast removed, even though it’s only temporary. The plan was to take the cast off, mould his foot and leg to make splints and then go back into plaster for another couple of weeks. Henry was really excited about going to the plaster room again – he’d been going since a baby for plastering as part of the Ponsetti treatment he had, and then again when he was five when we tried repeated plastering to correct his foot. His main concern going in was whether the staff in the plaster room would remember him – and of course they did!

When they took his plaster off and we could see his foot – minus the frame – it was amazing! His foot looked so different – it was straight! Seeing it looking so good made the stress, pain and worry of the last five months all worth it. As a parent you only ever want to do the best for your children; while I knew in my head that the illizarov treatment was the best option for Henry to sort his foot out and reduce the pain he was in, in my heart I sometimes wondered if we had done the right thing – mostly after a sleepless night with Henry in pain.

Henry choosing a splint designThe only issue was that seeing the right foot looking so straight it made the left foot (which was the good one) look worse! We know that putting a frame on the left leg is an option but we are waiting to see the final result on the right leg before we make any decisions. Henry knows he might have further treatment on his left foot but we haven’t discussed it in any detail as he needs to get through his current treatment first, but I did overhear a conversation he was having with his twin sister Melissa…

Melissa: You might need to have an operation on your other foot Henry, because your new foot will be able to run really fast, but your other foot will be running slow so you won’t be able to run properly. [At this point Melissa demonstrated by running awkwardly around the living room.] An operation could make your other foot run fast too.

Henry: Yeah, you might be right.

Brilliant!!

When the case was off they moulded Henry for two sets of splints: one in the normal position for day time and one in the over-corrected position for night time. He’ll hopefully be getting those splints in two weeks’ time. Until then it was back into plaster but a weight bearing one this time so he can start walking a bit, though still with the support of the walking frame.

Henry’s thoughts

It is good to be in school because I can have the school lunch.

When I got my cast off it was funny because my foot was manky and smelly. I stroked it and made this sound: “aaahhhhhh.“ I thought my foot looked well better when I got the plaster off. I got my moulds made for my splints and chose blue tractor splints for night time and red football boots and footballs for the day time ones.

Even though I have a walking cast on I can’t play outside if it is wet. Melissa says it’s good that I can walk now because I can get things for myself.

Henry’s story continues soon. You can read previous parts of the story here.

Sarah, Henry’s mum, works at Alder Hey and is telling Henry’s story to help raise awareness of Bilateral Talipes (club feet). If you enjoyed reading this, or if you are a parent in a similar situation, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Your comments

  • Hi.
    Thankyou for writing about Henry’s story/treatments.
    My son Jared is 7 and so far has had all same stages except the cage.
    We are back at Alder Hey May 28th 2015 for Jared’s next op on both legs
    He will be in plaster after for 6wks then splints 4 12months.
    Your experiences have really helped my concerns so again thankyou.
    Hope Henry is ok an wish you all the very best x

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