In the summer of 2015, we began the international adoption process and accepted the referral of a beautiful 15-month-old little girl from West Bengal, India. At the time of her referral, we were given very little information about her medical history other than she was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, she had already had one surgery on her right leg, and she was in need of surgery on her hips and feet. We immersed ourselves in articles about Arthrogryposis, and accepted the fact that we truly wouldn’t know our daughter’s abilities until her adoption was completed.
By the summer of 2017, our case was still tied up in the Indian court system so we packed our suitcases and traveled to India to begin fostering until our court hearing. We spent seven weeks in India and Mary finally came home last July. When we met her, she had bilateral clubfeet, walked on her knees (and was quite fast!) and also had limited mobility in several other joints.
My treatment and recovery
Mary began serial manipulation and casting of her clubfoot in September of 2017. She wore three different long leg casts that were changed on a weekly basis. Though she didn’t like the stretching or casting, it seemed to cause only minimal discomfort.
Dr. Nichols performed a tenotomy after the third set of casts were removed, and Mary then wore her final casts for a period of three weeks. The tenotomy was performed in the sedation area and Mary was able to go home within a few hours.
Once the final casts were removed, Mary was extremely weak and unable to take more than a few steps (with full support). She was fitted for AFO/KAFO braces for daytime use and Ponseti boots to wear at night. She also began physical therapy twice a week and used a walker for ambulation.
The day before Thanksgiving, Mary took her first independent steps and there has been no stopping her since that time! She still wears her ponseti boots at night and she now has two AFO’s for daytime use, though she is able to walk independently without the use of any support. Some of her favorite activities are walking, jumping and swimming…and she does them all with a huge smile on her face!
Dr. Nichols will perform surgery on Mary’s dislocated hip this fall.