Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ankle Follow-Up

Before Christmas I mentioned my daughter's floppy ankles and the difficulties they're giving her with standing and walking. She folds her feet out to the sides and her ankles in and nearly stands on the sides of her feet. My wife and I were pretty concerned, so we took the little floppy ankle girl to the physical therapist for a consult. Turns out that she actually flops her ankles that way intentionally to make up for instability in her hips. No kidding! By walking on the insides of her feet it makes her feel like her hips are more stable and she also locks her knees to help.

So to help this out we're going to pick up a pair of new shoe inserts. They're similar to the ones she currently uses but in addition to supporting the arch of the foot, they come up around the back of the ankle to give it additional support as well. Unlike an ankle brace, they don't immobilize the joint, so she'll still need to strengthen those muscles over time. Then we'll get a little pair of high top shoes to help as well.

To strengthen my daughter's hips, we've been trying some new walking exercises. Instead of using her walker, we've started making her walk hanging on to a towel held horizontally in front of her a little above waist level. She can hang on for balance, but unlike the walker it won't support all her weight. This forces her to bear her own weight instead. So far the little one tires pretty quickly, but her strength will build gradually and hopefully with it more confidence in her hips and ankles.

No comments: