Jack’s first AFO’s…

So here we are, in a place I didn’t think we would be. Jack’s first AFO’s. For those unfamiliar, AFO’s (ankle foot orthosis) are designed to treat foot and ankle disorders in children. They are also known as braces and now come in some really cool designs. Since we started this journey, members of Jack’s team at the hospital have been quite quiet about his leg and the difference in length between the two. It turns out that the difference is greater than last year, and will continue to increase. Jack’s right leg is currently 2cm shorter than his left. That’s a pretty big thing when it comes to walking and moving around. His orthotist agrees with others who believe that Jack will need to have his leg broken when he’s a bit older and we are waiting to see his orthopaedic surgeon. For now though we are going to be using AFO’s to hold his foot in the correct position. It sounds simple enough but unfortunately this has lead to fears that the AFO alone will make the leg difference worse quicker, so we are also having a built up shoe and different insoles to try and hold it at bay for as long as possible.

When I talked to Jack about having his leg and foot cast for the AFO he was kind of ok about it. We are lucky that his orthotist is brilliant and Jack has a beautiful love hate relationship with him (it’s the best you’ll get from Jack!) which meant that the casting process went smoothly. Jack sat on my lap and the whole thing was over in about ten minutes. Discussing what Jack wanted on it was the time consuming bit, with his orthotist agreeing that he would try and make it rainbow colour but failing that they would go for purple and no, we couldn’t have the cast back to play with!  Jack obviously refused to say good bye when we left, but he left feeling calm about the situation, which is the best we can hope for.  I wonder if it will be the same when he meets his AFO? I’ll let you know!


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