The Continuing Adventures of SuperPreemie

echoes of a thud

Posted on: June 22, 2009

Remember the other shoe that dropped last September?  And all the evaluation that eventually led to Shoshanna being diagnosed with a 25% gross motor delay and her starting to receive physical therapy 2x/week?

That other shoe now contains Sure Step SMOs.

Shoshanna's "boots"About a month ago, Shoshanna’s PT called us and suggested that she would like to try these small ankle braces for Shoshanna.  They are used for kids with flat feet & pronation as well as stability issues, to train the legs and feet to walk the “right” way.  We agreed pretty much immediately and got the paperwork rolling.  Last Monday she was measured for the braces; the orthotist who fitted her noted that even when she’s standing at rest, her feet and legs are constantly working to maintain her balance.  This apparently is not normal.  (Test it out yourself – when you’re just sanding in a neutral position, your feet and legs probably aren’t active.)  The braces will give her greater stability at the same time that they train her body to walk “correctly”.

Sure StepsWe picked the braces up this morning.  She grinned from ear to ear as she tried them on and stood up in them.  It was obvious right away that she was having to adjust how she walked; she stumbled a little bit on the first couple of steps.

Thankfully Shoshanna is still young enough that she thinks “different” = “cool”, and she loves them.  Plus several kids at school, including her friend “Little Ben” (both because he’s smaller than she is and to differentiate him from Jordan’s older brother who is also a Ben), wear them.  To top that all off, she got to pick the pattern (she picked “Blossom”) and strap color (pink, of course).

We gave them their first test-run at the zoo this evening (which was open late for a member’s picnic).  They don’t seem to be irritating her skin at all, and we immediately noticed a difference in her gait.  She complained a couple of times that her feet hurt, but it was also very late and she hadn’t napped at school, so that could have been as much a function of general tiredness as anything else.

We may never know if these ortho issues are related to her broader gross motor delay and mild hypotonia,Sure Steppin' Girl or if it’s the strong Turkowitz genes at work (her feet look EXACTLY like Matthew’s, and Josh’s, and Fran’s).  If it weren’t for her early start, we wouldn’t have been on the lookout for gross motor delays, so she wouldn’t be in PT, and she wouldn’t have the fancy boots.  But if wearing the fun custom boots for a bit can help her legs and feet develop in a healthy way, we’re all for it.


7 Responses to "echoes of a thud"

Being different IS cool!

I had to wear braces as a toddler because I was pigeon-toed (not sure about the official diagnosis for this, but you get the idea). Of course, my mom claims that I was Houdini and took them off all the time. So they got me ballet lessons to counteract the resulting clumsiness. I’ll let you judge how well that worked…

Our nephew Jasper (almost 4) has “robot boots” that he wears to counteract his toe-walking tendencies. I’m not sure how long he’ll be wearing them, but he was pretty proud of getting to be a robot when he first got them. 🙂

The other shoe didn’t drop. It just got other shoes! (my micropreemie wore them too for a year. It’ll be fine).

I just love your blog and think you are such a positive and loving Mom to a beautiful little girl. Keep up the fantastic raising of a wonderful and smart young lady. I love hearing about Shoshonna’s thoughts especially the Mr. Lincoln visit.

Oh my gosh, she looks so much like you in that profile picture, Sarah! Missed seeing you this past weekend, but thanks for the congrats and hopefully we’ll get to see you guys sometime in the not-too-distant future!

Ava loved her SMOs and luckily, we got her in them early enough that she only needed them for about six months before she was officially discharged from the podiatrist/orthotist/PT group!

[…] almost 3 years ago, when Shoshanna’s PT recommended SureStep SMOs? She’s been wearing them ever since and they have done a world of good for her pronation, her […]

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