So yesterday we had a regularly scheduled visit with our home physical therapy teacher. Lena has had regular appointments with speech and physical therapists for a few years through the Early Childhood Intervention program. Big brother Emerson had the same thing. We were tapering off Lena's appointments and getting ready to be done this fall when she turns 3. Now this new surgery lingering in our future is going to increase the amount of time out PT will be available.
She came yesterday and gave us a few ideas of how to begin the PT to hopefully avoid surgery on the right foot and maybe improve the left as well. I could tell after just 45 minutes with the PT mixing stretching and playing that Lena was already exhausted. We'll start off with just once a day (and maybe doing one leg in the morning and the other later on in the day). The goal is to keep her happy and avoid her being upset while doing PT... because if she becomes a crabby pants about it the whole thing becomes 10X more difficult.
For the right leg we're supposed to realign her foot to a neutral position, slide her butt forward so the knee is in line with the foot, and then give her toys to stretch and reach for while we hold her leg in place. This will allow HER to be the one stretching and we can avoid injuring her by pushing too hard. Secondary stretch (shown in photo) is to support her foot and just pulling back gently to stretch her Achilles.
For the left leg we need to find a little square bone at the top of her foot near where the crease is going up to the leg. Slide it over to the middle to be centered with the leg and then stretch it similar to how we did the right leg. This is a difficult stretch to achieve, but we will do our best! There is also a massage to do all down the outside of the calf to help loosen up that tendon which will eventually be lengthened.
Our home PT will be coming back the next two weeks and then we finally have our official appointment with the PT specialists at Gillette at the end of July. This will give us a good start and hopefully their information just builds on what we'll already be doing.