Gideon's cerebral palsy primarily affects his feet and legs. Here were Gideon's feet before any treatment. He walked completely on his toes, could not flatten his feet down to put his heels on the floor, and understandably, had a lot of difficulty balancing. He had to hang on to walls or furniture to make his way around the house. We've been doing physical therapy and stretches for months now, but those calves were still very tight.
You can see him losing his balance here. He did such a great job of getting around, but balancing on his toes made it very challenging for him to maintain his balance:
It has also caused some damage to his toes, which we are going to try to correct with non-surgical methods over the next few months.
The results were not immediate. It takes 24 to 48 hours to see any change. So when Gideon awoke after the procedure I took him home and waited to see what would happen. And sure enough, within two days, I was able to gently stretch Gideon's darling little feet into a fully flat position! It is truly remarkable! So once he was experiencing his new range of motion, we got him fitted for AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthotics) and then we got to go shoe shopping to find shoes big enough to fit over the bulk of the AFOs, with velcro long enough to fasten around them, and also stiff and sturdy enough to keep the boy off his toes.
We discovered that even with the AFOs on, he still wants to walk on tiptoe, and the light-weight shoes allowed him to do so. But we discovered that these heavier, clunkier shoes keep his heels flat on the floor. And his walking is just beautiful! He is balancing, his gait is much more even, and he can walk and walk without falling down!
I think what amazed him the most was that he can stop in the middle of a room, without holding on to anything, and balance! He has never been able to stop walking without tumbling to the floor before!
Yay for breakthroughs!
Go, Gideon, go!