We are following the Ponseti method of treatment (non-surgical), which includes approximately 6 sets of casts (applied once a week), followed by a likely procedure referred to as a tenotomy (clipping of a tendon to release tightness in the heel) and one final set of casts, and finished off by temporary use of a foot abduction brace (a bar worn between the feet to keep them turned out). This bar was worn for 23hours/day for the first three or four months, and as Eli's feet improved and he gained mobility, the time spent in the bar was decreased so that it was worn only during nap/sleep times.
At four years old, Eli only wore the bar/shoes for 10-12 hours at night while he slept. He played soccer, ran like a madman, rode a bike and played baseball. The only limitation we'd found was in his jumping skills: he does not appear to have a lot of strength in the feet/calves to jump, must like I experience on my left (clubfoot) side. But Eli doesn't seem to notice any issues at all. If you ask him, he'll tell you that he can touch the sky when he jumps...
Eli is now seven years old and he's still very active and on-the-go. In the last few years he's played soccer, baseball, competed in swimming, dabbled in gymnastics, and run a few races including a triathlon. However, we have noticed some signs of relapse in the last 6-9 months. Eli tends to walk on the outside of his feet and often doesn't touch his heel all of the way down when using stairs. Even though we've tried doing extra stretching at home, there has not been an improvement in this area, so we are starting PT and night-splints.
There are links on the front blog page (to the right) to a few websites, should you have any questions. The following are video and pictures documenting the progress made on Eli's feet.
Below is the same video I've had on youtube for years now; the video and pictures of Eli's progress have been used in Dr. Ponseti's famous office (Eli cameo at 4:05) as well as in presentations on clubfeet.
Here are Eli's feet the week after he was born (before any casts).
Eli's first casting, 08/29/05, just 8 days after he was born.
Eli's second casting (before and after) 09/08/05
Eli's third casting (before and after) 09/14/05
Eli's fourth casting (before and after) 09/21/05
Eli's fifth casting (before and after) 09/29/05
Eli's sixth casting (before and after) 10/05/05
Eli's seventh casts removed (3-weeks post tenotomy); Denis Browne Bar applied: 11/02/05
Eli in the first 2-weeks after beginning the bar: November 2005 (DBB 23/7)
Eli 2-months after beginning the bar: January 2006 (DBB 23/7)
Eli 5-months after beginning the bar: April 2006 (DBB 20/7)
Eli 8.5-months after beginning the bar: July 2006 (DBB 12/7)
Eli over 1 1/2 years after beginning the bar: November 2007 (DBB 12/7 - only during night sleep)
Eli over 2 1/2 years after beginning the bar: October 2008 (DBB 12/7 - only during night sleep)
Eli over 3 1/2 years after beginning the bar: August 2009 (DBB 12/7 - only during night sleep)
Eli over 4 1/2 years after beginning the bar: August 2010 (DBB 12/7 - only during night sleep)
Eli over 5 1/2 years after beginning the bar: August 2011 (no DBB)
Eli over 6 1/2 years after beginning the bar: August 20012 (no DBB - starting to see some possible signs of relapse)