Monday, May 19, 2008

New Ankle Braces

At her weekly physical therapy visit last Friday, Whitney got her new ankle braces.  But before we talk about that, here's a picture of my brave little girl being casted for the braces two weeks ago.  Okay, it's probably less bravery and more Cinderella playing in the background, but she was very cooperative.  Melanie and I were very pleased.

So the molds went off to our friends at Cascade and last Friday, Whit got to try on her new braces.  They come up just past the ankle and allow her to flex front to back.   Her old braces completely held her ankles stationary so this is a welcome new freedom of motion.  The new braces also have some extra width on the inside of her feet to ensure she doesn't roll her ankles in.  And Whitney's favorite part is the pictures of the doggies on the velcro straps.

Here's a side by side look at one of Whit's old braces and one of the new ones on the right:

As you can see, the back of the brace behind her leg is left open, which allows her to flex her ankle backward and forward.  This has taken some getting used to for my little girl, but she's adapting very fast.  Already at the park on Saturday, Whit was walking very comfortably.  She's developing the usual heel-toe stride that you and I walk with.  And the natural motion in her ankles should help her develop some much needed strength in her lower legs.

Best of all they fit her feet great with no rubbing or irritation and they still fit inside her Hatchback shoes.  I've got a hunch that with this added range of motion, this little girl will be walking with confidence in no time.


Carmela said...

Those are going to be great for Whitney.
Joseph's 1st DAFOs had the same doggies on the strap. Gabriella's job is to pick out the strap design for Joseph. This time she picked rocket ships and they are so cute.
I can't wait until Joseph can graduate into the shorter braces.
It would be great to see some video of Whit walking with her new braces if you have a chance.
Hugs for your whole family-
Carmela, Ken, Gabriella & Joseph

Nate said...

Hi Carmela and family! I'll have to suggest the rockets on the straps to Whitney next time. I bet she'd like that. And, good idea. I'll see if I can get some video of Whit and her new braces in action posted here shortly.