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aruna
11-17-2015, 10:13 PM
He is born in British Guiana.
1. The parents have the resources to send him abroad for treatment; I prefer this to be done in the USA rather than England because it is nearer. Or else in the Caribbean. Any advice?

2. I won't go into ay detail of the procedure in the book, but how well could the foot be put right in those days, and was there a particular method that was popular, for instance, braces that straighten the foot? Or an operation?

The end result should be that he is able to walk and run etc, but the leg remains just a little shorter and he is ineligible, as an adult, to volunteer for war.

mirandashell
11-17-2015, 10:44 PM
I found this that talks about treatment in the past:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958265/

WeaselFire
11-18-2015, 04:33 AM
The end result should be that he is able to walk and run etc, but the leg remains just a little shorter and he is ineligible, as an adult, to volunteer for war.

Then why not just write the story as being born with a deformation that affects his leg enough to not allow him to enlist? Is a club foot and treatment part of your story line?

Keep in mind that a "club foot" isn't always necessarily a true club foot and is often just a foot that is outside it's normal placement or orientation. It often doesn't require treatment for normal function. Many times it just requires bracing to allow the foot to grow closer to the natural form and the treatment in your case could be as simple as the doctors placing braces on the foot as the child develops, then determining the foot is "good enough" for the child to function in life.

Jeff

aruna
11-19-2015, 11:05 AM
Thanks to both of you. The website was helpful, and I wrote the scene this morning. Weaselfire, you are right that it does not have to be immensely distorted -- just enough to make treatment abroad necessary as a baby, which I needed for the story.

frimble3
11-19-2015, 12:55 PM
...(snip) just enough to make treatment abroad necessary as a baby, which I needed for the story. Which could be almost anything, if the rich parents don't trust the local doctor, or suspect that he's not up to treating something unusual. Or, just assume that anything foriegn is better, more up-to-date, etc.
One of them might be reading up on the baby's condition and heard of some particular doctor in your preferred 'abroad', and is set on sending the baby there.

aruna
11-19-2015, 03:32 PM
Yes, but the short leg thing is vital.

ETA: More info: the sequel to this book is already published. And in that book the character is mentioned as having had a club-foot and now short leg. So it's non-negotiable.

Old Hack
11-25-2015, 02:13 AM
My eldest son was born with severe bilateral talipes (club feet), and my youngest has less severe issues with his feet. If you would like to ask any questions, feel free to shout.

aruna
12-02-2015, 09:23 PM
My eldest son was born with severe bilateral talipes (club feet), and my youngest has less severe issues with his feet. If you would like to ask any questions, feel free to shout.
Wow Jane, thanks so much! Sorry I'm late with responding but I totally missed this post of yours.

As it is, I've sort of glossed over the matter. I've had it so that the parents find out that there's a specialist in Caracas, and the mother has to go over there for six months for treatment. We do not follow her to Caracas, and I don't go into the details of the treatment. She does write home, however, and it would be nice to add one or two details of the treatment. An operation? Braces? And I assume the treatment will continue after she returns home -- I'm thinking braces until he reaches a certain age. Would this make sense? We can take it to email if you like -- I think you have mine?

The actual details are not pertinent to the plot. But it would certainly enhance the story if I could describe in a sentence or two what is actually done.

Old Hack
12-02-2015, 09:56 PM
Aruna, I don't mind talking about this here, but am happy to email if you'd prefer.

A few thoughts. Ignore if they're not useful.

In 1912 I think most treatment for talipes was done by the use of braces and leg irons, and they had to be worn for years--into the teens, and then probably at night through adulthood to stop the foot reverting. When I was a child (I was born in the early 1960s) those leg irons were still in use: I can remember a child in my year at school wearing them. And I had a teacher who wore one very built-up shoe and walked with an odd gait, and with hindsight I suspect he had talipes too.

My eldest had intensive physio from birth, and then surgery at about 9 months old, but I don't think this type of surgery was common until late in the twentieth century. He has a scar on his foot like the strap of a slingback shoe: the surgery was only to the soft tissues of his foot and involved taking tendons off his foot and refixing them to different spots (one was split and reattached on both sides of his foot), as then they would pull his foot into a more normal position. He was in a cast for a couple of months after, and that was it. It worked well, but when he was 11 he had to have further surgery and this time he had an external fixator frame. Now the Ponsetti method, which is far less invasive but involves years of bracing, is far more common and effective.

Before he had the frame on, he would get a lot of pain on the outside of his foot if he walked long distances in a day. It's because that outer edge of his foot was growing more quickly than the inner side of it, and the bones were bowing. We were told he would never be able to walk much, and his stamina would be very poor, but when he was in the sixth form he did his Duke of Edinburgh gold expedition, which involved walking across the Highlands of Scotland for four days. He ended up carrying his pack and his friend's pack, after she fell and hurt herself. And then they had a day off before they came home, and he climbed Ben Nevis. So he's doing ok!

Short legs don't necessarily go with talipes, although it does seem that they do: what actually happens is that the deformity of the foot makes the foot itself shorter, and so there appears to be a difference in leg-length. My eldest is now twenty and nearly six foot two, and his right leg--the one which was more badly affected--appears to be about an inch shorter than his left, but the difference is all below his ankle.

His calf muscle on his right leg appears to be very wasted: it's common in talipes to find that part of this muscle is missing, so it's impossible to build it up. And because of the deformity he has, his ankle is pretty much fixed into position: he can't point his toes on that foot and has very little flexion. He can't balance on that one foot either, because he can't do the micro-movements you have to do to remain stable. But he can run, and he does martial arts: he just has to find his way around certain movements.

Having that foot fixed, and being unable to point his toe, makes it impossible for him to kneel on the ground with his lower legs parallel to one another. So he crosses his legs at the ankles (right one on top) and kneels like that. I have tried and it hurts my legs, but he says it's fine. It looks really sweet, and yep, he still does it.

I hope some of that is a help. Feel free to ask more specific questions, though.

aruna
12-02-2015, 10:41 PM
This is a gold-mine. Thanks SO much. It will add a lot to the book. Can't wait to revise now!