We sat in the hospital waiting room—myself, hubby, 3-year-old daughter, and 11-week-old son—waiting to meet the pediatric orthopedist. This wasn’t your run-of-the mill hospital. It specialized in pediatric orthopedic care, accepting patients from all over Canada. Though I knew God was in control, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness when in the presence of so many children with varied orthopedic conditions. Some in wheelchairs, others with corrective shoes, or casts. Still, I trusted God for a positive report concerning my son.
Our journey began 7 weeks ago, when my son’s pediatrician had diagnosed him with bilateral metatarsus adductus, a common foot deformity that causes the front half of the foot, or forefoot, to turn inward; in my son’s case, both feet were affected. We were issued a referral to see a pediatric orthopedist and instructed to perform simple stretching exercises on his feet in the interim.
Immediately after the diagnosis, I consulted Dr. Google and terrified myself. I felt guilty that I may have contributed to my son’s condition: Many believe that metatarsus adductus results from the fetus being tightly packed inside the womb during development. This might result in holding the foot in an abnormal posture that could lead to deformity. Though treatable, this deformity comes with an increased risk of hip dysplasia.
Power of Positive Affirmations
As the countdown to the orthopedic appointment advanced, we prayed religiously, stretched his feet after every diaper change, and made positive affirmations: God’s report says my son’s feet are normal.
So here we were on D-Day, anxiously waiting for the orthopedist to confirm what we believed: his feet are normal. As soon as the intercom announced my son’s name, we hurried ourselves to the patient room.
A bubbly nurse greeted us and proceeded to examine my son’s feet. After a quick inspection, she muttered, “They’re not that horrendous!” Being a clucky mother, all I heard was “horrendous,” and my face said it all: shock, disappointment, deflation. The nurse immediately corrected herself, “His feet look fine, but I’ll defer to the doctor for an expert evaluation.”
Next up, the resident pops in for a closer inspection. He’s a friendly looking chap, oozing lots of confidence. He examines my son’s feet, concluding, “His feet look normal to me. Don’t see anything wrong with them. His hips and spine are also fine, but I’ll let my boss take a closer look.” At this point our hearts were racing with excitement. Could this be true? Are his feet really normal?
The big boss finally arrives. A tall, slender, jovial man whose reputation preceded him. The orthopedic physician takes one look at my son’s feet and concludes, “His feet are normal and beautiful.” This was music to our ears. We couldn’t stop praising God for his faithfulness.
Before embarking on this journey, I’d never heard of metatarsus adductus. I viewed my son’s crescent-shaped feet as unique and beautiful. On googling the condition, I discovered few real world stories amongst a sea of technical medical information. So I share my story to bring life to pediatric foot conditions, and to testify that there’s truth in positive confessions centered around an ever loving God.
A big lesson learned is that I am my child’s best advocate for good health. While I understand that not every child diagnosed with metatarsus adductus has the same positive outcome, I’m grateful for the specialist care afforded to my son to ensure his healthy development.
Do you have any stories to share regarding metatarsus adductus or any similar foot condition?
For more on pediatric orthopedic care:
- The Newborn Foot (overview of the newborn foot)
- Metatarsus Adductus (overview of the newborn foot)
- Metatarsus Adductus (illustrates stretching exercises)