Friday, April 17, 2009

Bilateral C-N Bar Coalition

I went to the podiatrist for the first time this week. Well, I took Red Rocks to the podiatrist, but it was an educational experience for me, too.

Red Rocks has complained of sore feet and ankles for years. YEARS. When he was about six, he was dragging himself around the house by his arms. When a friend asked him what the heck he was doing, his response was, "My legs are loose." I've never been able to take this child seriously when it comes to pain or illness.

For the longest time the Hunny has said, "Put your shoes on! Wear shoes and your feet wouldn't hurt!" Then we moved away from Florida, where we were all barefoot all the time, and to a land of cold, where we wear shoes all the time. Red Rocks feet still hurt.

So FINALLY (someone give me the mother of the year award for waiting this long to take it seriously, will ya?) I asked the doc to send us somewhere to have the ankles checked out. Lo and behold, there really is something wrong with the boy's feet.

See the title of this post? That's what's wrong. Here, I'll give you the technical version:

What is a Tarsal Coalition?

A tarsal coalition is an abnormal connection that develops between two bones in the back of the foot (the tarsal bones). This abnormal connection—which can be composed of bone, cartilage, or fibrous tissue—may lead to limited motion and pain in one or both feet.

The tarsal bones include the calcaneus (heel bone), talus, navicular, cuboid, and cuneiform bones. These bones work together to provide the motion necessary for normal foot function.

Tarsal coalition is a condition most often caused by a hereditary defect that occurs during fetal development and results in the individual bones not forming properly. Less common causes of tarsal coalition include infection, arthritis, or a previous injury to the area.

I found this wealth of information at Foot Physicians. The C-N in my post title refers to the heel (C) and navicular (N) bones. The N is at the top of the foot. Bar means that there is a bar of bone joining the two bones, rather than a joint, meaning limited flexibility. Pain.

Poor Red Rocks. In pain all this time

The solution? Initially orthotics, or a plastic shoe insert made to fit his foot. Also, a new pair of shoes. Very expensive athletic shoes. Not cheap Shoe Carnival sneakers. The orthotics aren't cheap either. Oh, and physical therapy to teach the boy how to walk correctly. He walks on his heels, with his toes pointing to the sky.

Just changing his gait and getting new shoes has made a huge difference. In one evening the pain went away. Taking the shoes off and standing for five minutes brought the pain back.

What happens if this all doesn't work for Red Rocks? Surgery to remove the bone bar and insert something between the bones to keep the bar from growing back.

*Sigh*

I'm ready for a stiff drink and bed.

Until I write again ...

Flea

18 comments:

Debbie said...

Oh shucks. Hopefully the new stuff can fix this! Poor baby.

We kept telling David to keep his eye on the ball when he was playing baseball. Turns out he had a lazy eye and was keeping ONE eye on it.

I felt like dog poop.

Ellyn said...

Hope the shoes and new walk work for him. When will you know if that is all he needs?

Mental P Mama said...

Ouch. I hope it works. And in the meantime, I'll join you in the drink;)

Karen said...

Poor guy! Here's hoping that the shoe doe wonders for him.

asthmagirl said...

After four surgeries on K2's feet and orthotics, I can tell you that foot problems on kids are no joke. I hope the orthotics and therapy help Red Rocks a lot!

ShaRhonda said...

Isn't it amazing the terminology they come up with. My son is a tiptoe walker-the orthotics are expensive especially when they are 8 and have 10 more inches to grow in their foot. I hope all works out and that he ends up being pain free!

Trisha said...

Wow . . . so he really has a reason to want those expensive tennis shoes!

I hope things work out and he doesn't need surgery!

Robin said...

I don't know anything about tarsal coalitions, but after suffering debilitating foot pain last year (I couldn't even manage to grocery shop without practically keeling over) I finally went to the dr and discovered that I have abnormally high arches that were causing the pain.

I put off getting the orthotics for a long time because I didn't want to be forced into closed shoes over the summer, but the pain got so bad that I finally did it and the difference was UNBELIEVABLE - NO PAIN!

I just tried this week to go without them and wear my sandals during a heat wave and after two hours on my feet I was in agony. Back to the orthotics. They really are a lifesaver.

Daryl said...

"hereditary defect that occurs during fetal development" .. clearly the Hunny's fault ..

Daisy said...

Will your insurance cover the orthotics? Amigo has had orthotics since he was 2, and insurance has always covered them.

Memaw's memories said...

Bad bad mommy. I think we fail to see the forests for the trees. I didn't realize my son had an underbite til he was nearly grown and someone mentioned it and I was totally in shock.

Hopefully it can be fixed and your insurance will pay for it.

And just kidding about being a bad bad mommy.

Julie said...

OmYgOsh!!!
Hope the shoes and inserts works. No wonder the poor boy was hurting!

Karen Deborah said...

yikes. you know it is hard to know about kids. i have one who complains all the time. I'm pretty sure she is a hypochondriac. If the shoes make that big of a difference looks like you have a fix! always try to go the least invasive route.

Snooty Primadona said...

Wow! For the first time in my life I don't feel so bad about my big, flat Hobbitt feet. I basically walk around on my ankles.

With the way some kids are, who knew it was for real? Anyway, you took care of it now. Tell Red Rocks to have a speedy recovery for me, ok? I wish there was a cure or surgery for flat feet, believe me...

Whether you're actually having that cocktail or not, I'm raising one on your behalf.

Warty Mammal said...

I'm sorry. Some problems are really subtle, and sometimes it's hard to know how seriously to take things. It helps when they get older and can describe things a little better.

Laski said...

You know, just figuring out what the heck is wrong is half the relief right there!

Moms are just so darned hard on themselves. I'm sure you won't be forced to return your mom of the year trophy any time soon . . .

Poltzie said...

Now I feel kind of bad for loving the loose legs story!
THank goodness for good docs hey!

Karen said...

Praying that he won't need the surgery. Poor guy.