I had noticed during one of Jojoe’s Special Olympics practices that his gate while running was totally off. He’s always had a waddle to his walk, almost like a strut, and at times clumsy, but I guess until he started running in a straight line down the track at practice, I never thought about it. So I took a video and showed his pediatrician who suggested that I make him an appointment to go see an Orthopedist. We had already ruled out a tethered spinal cord a few years ago when another doctor noticed he’s a “toe walker.”
Some children with Down syndrome have congenital knee, hips or feet problems so I just wanted to rule out any possibilities with Joey. Being a parent of a child who’s had past hidden medical problems (malrotated bowels, obstructed bowels, ect…), I couldn’t help but be paranoid at the possibility of something else being wrong.
I promptly made an appointment with an Orthopedist at CT Children’s Medical Center, thankfully, they had an opening for the following week (which today was the appointment).
So this morning, we headed up I-84 to Hartford to his appointment. Dr. T and his resident were both super nice and were extremely thorough. First the resident had me run with Jojoe up and down the hallway a few times and saw what I was talking about, so then an x-ray was ordered. And let me tell you, getting an x-ray of anything on Joey is almost impossible to most x-ray technicians except for a few at CCMC and by the grace of God, our favorite one was there so thankfully it only took one try to get a clear image!
Dr. T looked over Joey’s x-ray immediately while we were there and said that there’s no hip dysplasia or dislocations. The only thing noticed was a cyst on each hip, which you can see on the x-ray below. One is a little larger than the other, but nothing that needs to be taken care of immediately, if ever. Also, it was mentioned the way Joey’s hips are shaped is why his legs so inward a bit resulting in his odd gate.
As for the toe walking, Dr. T said we could do braces on his feet/legs but with Joey’s sensory issues, we both agreed that there’s no way he would tolerate wearing them, just to try to re-direct Joey when he starts toe walking and hope that over time, he will stop on his own.
Today as we left CCMC, I breathed a sigh of relief thankful that there’s nothing major wrong with Joey, just two little cysts which we made a follow up appointment for 6 months from now to see if there’s been any changes in them.