Clubfoot Stinks

High-Heel-SandalsClubfoot should be a crime. It’s cruel for us girls who love shoes.  I have a small pile of shoes that I thought would work.  They were cute, I NEEDED them but in reality I can only wear them if I don’t move.  Sometimes I just try them on for fun, admire their beauty and then whip them back to the deep dark bowels of my closet.

Some of you are asking, “ummm, what’s clubfoot?”  Let me tell you!

Clubfoot is a common congenital disorder of the legs. It can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid. The condition occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 live births.  The physical appearance of the foot may vary. One or both feet may be affected. The foot turns inward and downward at birth, and is difficult to place in the correct position. The calf muscles and foot may be slightly smaller than normal. Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. Treatment should be started as early as possible — ideally, shortly after birth — when reshaping the foot is easiest.  Gentle stretching and recasting occurs every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast remains in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, a special brace is worn nearly full time for 3 months. Then it is used at night and during naps for up to 3 years.

I had casts on my legs at birth and went to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago at 3 months for my first surgery.  The process went on over the years.  That’s how I scored those snazzy braces. Not just anyone can have a pair of those babies!

They did a good job but it comes with a cost.  My feet are flat and straight but I’m assuming the lengthening was a trade off for muscle.  I can’t rotate my ankle or flex my feet.  I remember bringing home my son as an infant and watching in awe as his perfect little feet would stretch, flex and tiny toes would curl. He was two days old and already mastered something I would never.  It was a really weird feeling.

There are rules to buying the perfect shoe…Need a strap to keep them on. A little heel because my left foot isn’t completely flat.  Not too big of a heel because my right foot is weaker and can’t handle it. If only my feet would be on the same page.

I can walk through the shoe department and select my options in a matter of seconds.  I am always on the lookout for a cute Mary Jane style shoe.   What have you found that works?  Any good links you could share would be great. I am starting up the chat forum for this topic and will pass on a few of my favorites.


6 thoughts on “Clubfoot Stinks

  1. HiI used to be able to wear a few different styles of shoes but I am down to one style.I wear Volkswalkers lace up shoes. The only have a slight heal and they have insoles thatremove for my orthotics. The major drawback is that I have to order them from a distance away and get them mailed to me.There are no stores in my area that sells them even though the website says they are available here.As I have aged, my feet are more sore and walking more painful. I am not complaining though becauseat least I can walk and don't need braces.I too watched in awe as my children flexed their feet and toes.


  2. While I don't have clubfoot, boy can I relate to watching in wonder as my son did things I've only dreamed of doing! For readers who don't know me, AMC affects my shoulders through fingertips, so when my infant son began "pulling up," holding silverware, coloring and buckling his high chair harness, the feeling was, like you said, weird. I was almost jealous, but unspeakably proud at the same time. The funny thing is, lately, he's started doing things with his feet sometimes. He types on his laptop with his feet like me, and sometimes pushes buttons with his toes. But when he realizes he can do it a lot easier with his hands, he reverts back. 🙂 It's an interesting life we lead, isn't it!


  3. I have a 4 year old daughter born with AMC affecting her hips, knees, and feet. She is a shoe fanatic, and is just entering that age where she can succinctly articulate her desires to have "regular" feet, so she can wear "princess shoes". So, Thank You for this blog post! It made me laugh to see that photo of those strappy red heels, because my daughter already LOVES high heels, and asks almost daily when she will be old enough to get a pair. She puts on my heels, and sits on the floor admiring them. :)At the end, you ask about cute mary jane shoes….I am wondering if Danskos can work for you? I have a pair of black ones, but they come in red too. They have a strap, and a little bit of a heel (like a clog). They are pretty pricey, but really durable and comfortable. Thanks again! Angela


  4. Angela,Thanks for your message! I do have a pair of Danskos and I love them. I just wish they made more styles – some less bulky and maybe even a pointed toe. :)I recently took a bag of shoes I could only admire from my closet to a shoe tailor. They think they can work some magic for me. I'll write a post once I get them back, maybe I'll have some tricks your daughter can try when she is older. Take care!Rachel


  5. Hi Rachel,I found your site through Milwaukee Moms. I was reading your thoughts about daycare and how you'd like them to interact with you. My daycare does all of those things quite well – I really feel like he gets the best care there during the day.Regarding your question about Mary Jane's, I love my Dansko Mary Jane's – there is a bit of a chunky heel… maybe they would work for you.


  6. Hi Kristen, Thank you for visiting my blog. I'd love to know about your daycare. Feel free to private message me here or through the Milwaukee Moms site. I would really appreciate it. Dansko shoes are really nice. I need to check them out again. I started using the shoe tailor in Tosa to add straps to my shoes which has been awesome. They do really nice work. Take care!


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