My Dad and his Clubfoot…

I looked up to my dad! He taught me so much more than I thought I would learn from him. I have so many memories with my dad, going camping, travelling and learning how to make a songs! He’s a super hero and good guy for me and my brothers!

I interviewed by Dad and he explained his clubfoot to me and I want share that with all of you!

Kelsey: How did your parents find out what was going on with your foot?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): When I was born, it was obvious that my foot was bent inward, and they call that Clubfoot.  By the way, my nephew, Eric, also had Clubfoot but it was both feet and he had a different surgery where they broke his tibia bones.

Kelsey: Why do you have a foot smaller than the other foot?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):I had too many casts during my childhood and when your foot is in a cast it can’t grow.

Kelsey: How many casts/surgeries did you have on your foot?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): I had 15 casts total.  I had one surgery when I was 5 and I fractured a bone in my foot when I was a teenager.  Most of the casts were from when I was a baby until I was 5.  We also tried orthopaedic shoes and I had a bar between my feet when I was in bed.  When I had the surgery, the doctor cut 11 ‘V’s out of my bones.  I bled through that cast, so they gave me a new one.  That was cast #14.  Cast #15 was from jumping down some stairs as a teenager.

Kelsey: What’s it’s like to find two different sized shoes?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):   It sucks.  My right foot is size 5.5 by length but wider.  My left foot is size 9.5.  Men’s shoes don’t go smaller than 7 and boy’s shoes usually don’t match.  Lately, I try to find a Ladies shoe that doesn’t look too girly and I buy a 7 and an 11.   I always have to buy 2 sizes and throw away the brand-new shoes that I don’t need.

Kelsey: Did your classmates or friends know that something was different about your feet?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): They didn’t notice.

Kelsey: What was your childhood like?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):  I had trouble buying skates, so I didn’t learn to skate until I was 10.  I played soccer and started guitar when I was 10.

Kelsey: Does your foot hurt now?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): Sometimes.  The doctor thinks it’s Arthritis in the area where I fractured it.

Kelsey: What was school like growing up?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):  We moved a lot so I changed schools many times in the middle of a school year, but it was ok.

Kelsey: How many siblings do you have in your family?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):  I have a brother, a sister and a half-brother.

Kelsey: What kind of school did you take after high school?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):  Electronics Engineering Technology at a tech school in Moose Jaw that was called SIAST.

Kelsey: What are your hobbies?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad):  Guitar playing, guitar amp building, electronics design, and a little woodworking.

Kelsey: How did you get into music?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): I saw my Uncle Ron and my Uncle Kevin play guitar and then I really wanted to do it too. 

Kelsey: What kinds and how many bands were you in?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): 2 Country bands, 1 Blues band, 1 Christian Rock band, 1 Acoustic band, and one that was more Classic Rock.

Kelsey: What’s your job?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): Currently, I am a Maintenance Manager at EVRAZ.

Kelsey: How many years have you worked at EVRAZ?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): Almost 23.

Kelsey: Do you like to travel?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): No. 

Kelsey: Where did you go in the world?

Mike (Kelsey’s Dad): My wife dragged me to Mexico, Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, California and more.  I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy going to Nashville.

Here is some information I found about Clubfoot on the internet. Please check it out.

WHAT IS CLUBFOOT?

Child with clubfoot

Clubfoot is an abnormal inward curving of the foot. One of the most common nonmajor birth defects, clubfoot affects a child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward. The clubfoot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than normal. Clubfoot is not painful, the deformity is correctable, and your baby is probably otherwise normal.

Approximately 1 in every 1,000 newborns has clubfoot. Of those, 1 in 3 have both feet affected and 2 out of 3 are boys. Clubfoot is twice as likely if the baby’s parents or their other children also have it. Less severe infant foot problems also are common and sometimes mislabeled as clubfoot.

Treatment

Treatment begins right away to correct the alignment of the foot. The goal is to make your newborn’s clubfoot (or feet) functional, painless, and stable by the time he or she is ready to walk.

Non-surgical Treatment

Your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon will start treatment by gently stretching your child’s clubfoot toward the correct position. They put on a cast to hold it in place. One week later, they take off the cast and stretch your baby’s foot a little more, always working the foot toward the correct position. They then apply a new cast. One week later you will return to the surgeon and they will do the same thing again. This process, called serial casting, slowly moves the bones in the clubfoot into proper alignment. Your surgeon uses X-rays to check the progress. Casting generally repeats for 6-12 weeks and may take up to four months. (Note: Anytime your baby wears a cast, watch for changes in skin color or temperature that may indicate problems with circulation.)

In about half of cases, the child’s clubfoot straightens with casting. If it does, he or she will be fitted with special shoes or braces to keep the foot straight. These holding devices usually are needed until your child has been walking for a year or more. Muscles often try to return to the clubfoot position. This is common when your child is 2-3 years old but may continue up to age 7. 

Surgical Treatment

Sometimes stretching, casting, and bracing are not enough to correct your baby’s clubfoot and surgery is needed to adjust the tendons, ligaments, and joints in the foot and ankle. This usually is done when your child is 6-12 months old. Surgery corrects all of your baby’s clubfoot deformities at the same time. After surgery, another cast holds the clubfoot together while it heals. Since it’s still possible for the muscles in your child’s foot to try to return to the clubfoot position, special shoes or braces likely will be used for a year or more after surgery.

With treatment, your child should have a nearly normal foot. He or she can usually run and play without pain and can wear normal shoes. The corrected clubfoot will not be perfect, however. You should expect it to stay 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller and somewhat less mobile than the normal foot. The calf muscles in your child’s clubfoot leg also will be smaller.

FAQs

What happens if I do not treat my child’s clubfoot? 
If your child’s clubfoot is not treated, he or she could have difficulty walking and functioning normally.

Thank you to my Dad for this interview and helping educate all of you!

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