My son, Merritt, was born with a left clubbed foot and congenital shortening of his left leg. Our journey in understanding his conditions and in seeking the best possible treatments has definitely had its ups and downs. This blog is my way of sharing our experiences. It is my hope that similarly situated parents may use information on this page as a resource and as inspiration. Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The above photo is of Merritt's FIRST DAY in his brace... an exciting and challenging time!

I feel like I could write an entire book on boots and bars! I did so much research, emailed doctors, moms, dads... needless to say I became a little obsessed. I guess it was my way of controlling some portion of my son's situation.

After all the research, I decided that I NEEDED to get Merritt in a Dobb's brace and Mitchell Sandals. For more information on these items, just click!

While our physician regularly proscribed the Mitchel Sandals, I was the first in my doctor's practice to use the Dobb's brace. In fact, I had to convince the man that the brace was worth trying. Fortunately, it all worked out and Merritt was in his Dobbs brace and Mitchell Sandals as soon as his last cast was removed.

Of course, we went through the normal h*ll of starting bracing. Merritt wasn't accustomed to having both of his feet on "lock down." But, after about a week, he was well adjusted and everything has been smooth ever since! He even began crawling at about 81/2 months... a day that I was so looking forward to :)


  1. I stumbled onto your blog and wanted to say hello!

    My son Matthew (now 7 yrs) was born with a left clubfoot. It was later discovered that he also had nerve damage as well as a leg length discrepancy.

    We have been through castings, tenotomy (under local!), shoes and bar, tendon transfer, botoxing, more castings, AFO's, more castings, more botoxings, other surgeries, shoe lifts and maybe some more castings.

    We were not lucky enough to find a ponseti trained doctor (the closest was a 10 hr car ride). But he started seeing Dr Dobbs almost a year ago.

    I would love to add your blog to my list of foot blogs. If that is alright, stop by my blog and let me know.

    When we were in St. Louis I got to see some little ones with the dobbs brace on. I think it is brilliant. Wish it had been available 7 yrs ago.

  2. Dear Nikki
    Thanks for writing down ur experiences. I want to wish Merritt a wonderful life ahead and hope all this will be behind your family very soon. I've been going through an emotional roller coaster ever since my son Sudarshan was born with left club foot. He is now 9 weeks old and getting his cast off next Wednesday 3 weeks since his heel tendon was clipped. Until I read ur blog I was unaware of lot of details. Our doctor said after removing his cast, he will be fitted with braces and bars on the same day. A lot of questions are running through my mind. Even though doctors say that a child's develoment will not be affected by braces, I' m deeply worried

    Will he be able to roll over in his 3rd month with his shoes on?
    Will he have any other defect as he grows?
    What kind of emotions will I go through when friends and family ask me abt his spl shoes?
    Will he develop further troubles when he starts walking or crawling?

    From your blog, I get that I need to ask the following questions to my son's doctor. Please assure me if I'm on the right track.
    1. About LLD
    2. About when his X-Rays will be done?
    3.Dobbs brace and Mitchell Sandals