Lydia’s braces

***If you’ve landed on my blog from searching the ‘net for info on tip toe walking or serial casting or AFO braces, hello. This particular post here is one in a number I wrote about my daughter’s tip toe walking. I encourage you to start with this post instead. It encapsulates our journey more succinctly.***

Lydia got her braces last Wednesday and she has been doing so exceptionally great with them. The braces are supposed to be worn overnight, but she has to “practice” with them before she can wear them that long. (I have written about her tip-toe walking and braces here, here, here, and here.) So, on Thursday she wore them for half hour, on Friday for an hour, and she’s wearing them for another hour tonight (Saturday). We have to phase her into the braces to make sure she doesn’t get any bruising or red spots or blisters or anything. After tonight, she can wear them for four hours in bed. We’ll put them on her when she goes to bed, then take them off of her before we got to bed. If she still doesn’t have any marks on her legs or feet, then she can wear them the entire night overnight.

There are two ways for the braces to work: they’ll work overnight be keeping her foot and ankle at a 90 degree angle. That will help to strengthen her tendons. Then, she’ll wear them for half hour a day, at what is called an “aggressive” stretch. The straps on the braces allow them to be pulled up to stretch her muscles. We’ll keep doing her exercises with her to keep the tendon flexible, and we’ll keep encouraging her to walk on her flat feet during the day.
The hope is that when we go back to physical therapy in a week and a half, that she has gained some range of motion. She needs to gain motion to be able to actually walk on her flat feet. Because her tendon is so tight, it really is hard for her to walk heel-to-toe. The process will probably take six weeks to see any real difference.
So far, Lydia LOVES the braces. She is excited to wear them and loves that they are yellow. She picked out the colors herself. She is being so brave about it. We are so proud of her!
Here are some pictures:
Watching TV with Arlene.

4 thoughts on “Lydia’s braces

  1. I love how she is posing like a model in the second picture! Or like a woman who just got a compliment on her fabulously expensive designer shoes. 🙂

  2. belle says:

    i found your blog by searching toe walking, and wanted to thank you for sharing Lydia's story. My daughter is 4 and about to get braces to be worn at all times so I'm feeling apprehensive and found your posts and others comments to be helpful.

  3. Anonymous says:

    my daughter is waiting for her braces to be made…I hope they do as you exsplained..I only want the best for my child…Is there anything else I can do to help her walk on the ball of her feet then tip toe…while i wait for the braces to come in:)

  4. You could put your daughter in flip flops – that's one of the things we tried with Lydia. We told her that if she walks correctly (heel-to-toe) that the flip flops will make a flop noise. It made her walk carefully to listen for the noise.

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