Sunday, October 04, 2009

In gratitude: The Ponseti method

We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the important role that Dr. Ignacio Ponseti and the treatment he pioneered has on Sophie's ability to walk/run normally in the future. It's startling that this treatment for clubfeet is not practiced as widely as we would have thought even though it's been around for almost 50 years. It heartens us to know that we've been able to benefit from this non-surgical and highly effective method to correct what might otherwise be a permanent and painful disability. Dr. Ponseti-- at 95 years old-- is still alive and actively practicing and his mandate now is to spread the use of the Ponseti method to as wide a community as possible.

Sophie has done remarkably well throughout the process- being such a brave peanut through the serial casts and the tenotomy (an outpatient mini-surgery to release her Achilles heel); but now comes the toughest part of the treatment- the wearing of the Dennis-Brown shoes to keep the correction in place. Sophie has to wear them 23-hours a day for the next few months, and then only when she sleeps till she's about 2. The three of us are going to have to be very disciplined to stick to the routine-- no matter how uncomfortable it may initially be for Sophie, or how our hearts break at her cries when we put it on-- or the chances of relapse are very high. We've been reading the forum boards and found out that many parents-- for one reason or another-- give up wearing the shoes and then find themselves having to begin the procedure from scratch, beginning with the serial casts again. There is no way we're going to put Sophie through that again.



If you watch the above video - you'll understand why we are so grateful to Dr. Ponseti and all the Drs. and nurses at UM involved with Sophie's treatment. We couldn't have asked for a better or nicer pediatric ortho specialist than Dr. Michelle Caird. And this is why we are so moved to donate to the Ponseti foundation, to help them spread the method, so that children all over the world can benefit from the treatment just like Sophie.

4 comments:

soo yee said...

H Serene, just read yr blog about Dr Ponseti's treatment and am so glad to know that Sophie's club feet will be corrected. It is so sad to see those children w/o help. I will pray that both Jude and yourself will not compromise but stick to the strict discipline. Kisses to Sophie and lots of love to the both of you. Aunty soo

serene said...

Thanks so much for your prayers and love, Auntie Soo :) We can't wait for you to see Sophie and smother her with kisses in person!...

Debra said...

It pains me to know Sophie is going through so much at such a young age but at the same time I'm so very glad she has the both of you as her parents :)

serene said...

awww... thanks for saying that, debra! we tell ourselves that her discomfort won't last long and that eventually, all will be well and she won't remember a thing!