Last week, we had the appointment with the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor. You know how nervous we were about this appointment! Overall, it was a good appointment. The doctor was really thorough and positive. She noticed the slight increase in tone, some reduced reflexes in Jax’s ankles, and his toe walking – all things we were already aware of. Since Jax is making such great progress with gross motor skills, we’re going to take a “wait and see” approach.
In two months, we will go back for a follow-up visit. If she is still seeing cause for concern, she may order a brain MRI to check for possible brain damage that could be causing the issues. A traumatic birth or lack of oxygen can cause brain damage. Head ultrasounds in the NICU did not show any brain bleeding, but the MRI would identify any other potential problems. Jax would have to go under anesthesia for the MRI, so we will only do this if we think it might change the course of care.
It’s a really good sign that Jax can get his feet flat on the floor. The problems are occurring when tries to take a step – his toes curl under and he loses his balance. Some kids can push through this and learn to walk anyway. If Jax learns to walk but still walks on his tip toes, she may recommend Ankle-Foot Orthotics (AFOs) to help him keep his feet flat on the ground for walking. Toe walking is not an ideal situation because it can have lasting negative effects on his hips, ankles, toes, and tendons.
In the meantime, Jax will continue with regular physical therapy.
As if on cue, Jax decided to stand independently last night! Over the last few days, he’s been standing for a couple of seconds at a time, but this time he stood for over a minute! So, it’s official – we have a stander!
So, it’s time to place some bets! When do you think Jax will walk? The person who guesses the closest date will win a bright, sunshiny smile from Jax himself. 🙂