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Deciding What Is Right for Your Child

My daughter Bri, has been a healthy child. She had no issues when she was born. I did notice that she cried a lot as a baby. I thought she had colic but my doctor at that time said it wasn’t colic. My doctor then retired and I was left with the other doctor in his practice (we will call him Dr. R). 

At her six month check up, she was not rolling over yet but hitting other mile stones. He decided to refer me to a program called ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). They came out to my house and said they couldn’t find a reason why she wasn’t rolling over but that they would do regular visits with her to check on later progress. She eventually started rolling over. At that time I have also taken my then two-year-old son for a check up and I asked my doctor if he could look at my son’s feet because they seemed to curve in mid-foot. Without even looking at my son he told me that it was silly and that they use to cast feet for that “back in the days” and that he was going to have the nurse update my son’s shots and get me out of there so I wouldn’t ask anymore “stupid” questions. I was appalled. The doctors office at that time was hiring a new doctor to replace the one who retired and I waited to see that doctor for the next check up.

In the meantime my daughter turned one and was doing well with the exception that she was not walking. She would struggle to stand up and would try to walk but just couldn’t get her left foot to plant bottom down on the floor. She would always try to stand on the top of her foot on the floor. At fourteen and a half months she was walking but not well at all. She fell constantly. 

At her sixteen-month check up, I took her and her brother in (he needed his three-year check up) and I saw the new doctor. Right away I liked her (we will call her Dr. A). She was very through with her exam. I then asked her to look at both my kids feet and voiced my concerns. She looked at them and said that something was not right. She referred us to a physical therapy place for evaluation. The wait to get an appointment with them was three weeks. During that time, ECI came out to check up on Bri and they brought out their own physical therapist. She said she noticed when Bri walked that her left leg seemed to lock “backwards.” 

Meaning that instead of her knee stopping when the leg was straightened it kept going backwards. She said she also noticed that her left leg was turning in along with her foot. Her suggestion was that Bri needed a brace to keep her knee from hyper extending and a brace for her foot, along with P.T. I told her the issues I had had with Dr. R and that I was seeing this new doctor at the same practice. She said she would send in a letter of “Medical Necessity” to the doctor office so they wouldn’t think I was crazy for insisting something was wrong. After that we went in to the physical therapy place. They P.T. there evaluated both kids. She said my son would only need a shoe insert that I could get at any shoe store. 

Bri on the other hand had more extensive issues. She said that Bri’s whole leg from the hip was turning in causing her to navigate to the right when she walked. (I had noticed that before). She also noticed the knee hyper extending. She said that her leg muscles seemed very weak and that the bones and tendons were the only things supporting her weight when she walked. She suggested that Bri would need to have “casting” done followed by a brace later and P.T. Casting is where they put their leg in a cast for a year, changing it every few weeks. So I leave there thinking “how am I going to adjust my life for a one year old in a cast for a year and how is she going to handle it?”

That week my doctor (Dr. A) called wanting to see us right away. She came in saying thank you for coming in so quickly. She said she wanted to examine her again and that she was not too pleased with the report she got from the therapy place. She said she did not want to do the casting but she thought that Bri might need a brace and definitely need therapy. She said she would turn in the paperwork for a brace and therapy but not for casting. So I was relieved to her that. 

The next day ECI faxes me a prescription for the brace that they suggested that has been signed by Dr. R. I am confused so I try calling the doctors office but got no answers. I called the therapy place and they said they only do the P.T. and that I had to go somewhere else for the brace. I called ECI and they told me to go ahead and call the orthopedic place on the prescription and set up an appointment to get Bri fitted for her brace. I am confused because I am wondering if this is the brace that Dr, A had in mind or if it was Dr. R making that decision. I looked up the kind of brace that was on the prescription and I felt confident that this was the brace that she needed. (it’s called an H.E.K.O.) So I called the orthopedic place and made an appointment. She will go in next week to have her leg casted so they can make her brace specifically for her leg. On top of that, which happens on Tuesday, she will be starting her physical therapy on Monday.

So my concern was if I was going about this the right way. I feel confident that this is what my daughter needs and I am concerned that Dr. A may disagree. That is part of the reason I went ahead with it. My other concern is what effects will this have with the insurance company if one doctor prescribed that treatment and one prescribed the brace.

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