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Serial Casting

August 24, 2009 by Bill Strong
Tomorrow, we will be taking Gwendolyn for serial casting. No, we're not exactly happy about it, but it is necessary and will lead to more good, adventurous, fun stuff for our little fighter Gwendolyn. Serial casting is a noninvasive procedure where Gwendolyn's Orthopedist, Dr. Sean Early, will put well-padded casts on each of Gwendolyn's legs up to just below her knees. The whole point of all of this is to gradually loosen the contractures in Gwendolyn's ankles and Achilles tendons and get her ankles to a more natural, neutral position.

The plan is that she will be in the casts for several weeks and will go directly from the casts into a brand spanking new pair of ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) -- in whatever fun color she selects smile Going forward she'll be in her AFOs for a good portion of each day and that, coupled with continued intense daily physical therapy, should help keep Gwendolyn's contractures at bay.

We're not at all excited about putting Gwendolyn in casts for several weeks and would much rather that she did not have to go through any of this. To be completely honest, the Orthopedist mentioned serial casting to us in January 2009, but there was absolutely NO way we were going to put her in casts for such a long period of time -- it just didn't make sense to us at that point. Here we are, only 6 months later, and we are preparing Gwendolyn for a power wheelchair -- something we only hoped Gwendolyn would get to experience -- and longer stints in the stander that she is continuing to conquer and enjoy. We are so proud of Gwendolyn, all that she continues to accomplish under unbelievably challenging circumstances, but for her to be able to comfortably enjoy all of these activities and many more in the future, we need to get her feet into a more natural, neutral position. To us, that will be well worth the few weeks that she will spend in casts to get her there. Say bye-bye ballerina toes!

We'll miss you chunky legs and take care of that cute little freckle below Gwendolyn's left knee cap! Can't wait to tickle those toes again!

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