These ‘boots’ are made for walkin’…

Case's new SMO Orthotics

Much to Brian’s likely chagrin, I find myself singing this song to Case almost every time we put on his new Supra Malleolar Orthotic (SMO) foot braces, that I refer to as his boots (I figured that was much easier (for when he does start to talk) than getting him to say, supra malleolar othotics).

He started wearing them about a month ago (when he was 13 months) and at first there was a bit of a learning curve regression.  He was so used to pulling to stand the wrong way (i.e. using the top of his feet or the inside of his ankles to push off the ground – yeah, it looked terribly painful) that it took him some time (about two weeks) and lots of practicing and frustration to slowly start to get his foot underneath himself and push up.  The main goal of the SMOs is to stop detrimental pronation associated with hypotonia.  Without the braces, Case severely pronates and practically stands on the insides of his feet/ankles.  The braces offer necessary support to keep him from doing long-term damage to the tendons.

Prior to getting the SMOs, we had many long discussions with our PT, Ginger,  as to whether or not to brace (in the pediatric physical therapy community there are two camps – braces v. no braces) due to the fact that some kids rely too much on the bracing and never develop the muscles to walk on their own without them, but after taking a course through the SureStep Orthotics company, Ginger decided that these low-profile braces were for us.

As you can tell in the photo above, the braces are small and quite frankly  pretty easy to get on and off.  In fact, Case isn’t really bothered by them at all.  The only problem we seem to be having is finding shoes wide enough in the heel to fit over them.  Ginger says many parents don’t even  put shoes on their kids at all (obviously in the summertime mostly) and just attach a little rubber tread to the bottom. So, that’s next on the to-do list for us, because as our last days in NC draw near, the temps are rising rapidly and his little feet are getting very sweaty!

As for progress in the walking arena, he’s making some slow progress.  Like I said, he’s getting better at pulling up and does do some slow ‘cruising’, but it seems he’s no where near walking on his own just yet.  Right now we’re working on getting him to bend his legs and develop his quad muscles as he tends to tense his entire leg while stepping and standing and looks a little like a zombie when using his push-toy walker.  We do lots of exercises using the parallel bars Brian made him, getting him to bend down and pick up toys, etc.  Hopefully, all our work will pay off with some more balance and knee-bending soon!

For more information on SureStep, visit their site and check out the video – it’s pretty motivational!

http://www.surestep.net/

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3 thoughts on “These ‘boots’ are made for walkin’…

  1. Shelby says:

    Hi-great timing on your post-we picked up our new SMOs today! I stumbled over your blog while googling “SMO” to be able to update our own blog. My kiddo has a chromosome change involving chromosome 18 and I’m also a military spouse. Looking forward to following your blog. : )

  2. Dawn says:

    Caitlyn I came across your blog while searching for SMO. My daughter is due to get casted for them this Tues & I have no idea what I’m in for. Her ortho appt went poorly & all the Dr did was give us a script w/the letter SMO on it w/absolutely no explanation before walking out & before we can ask any questions! I’ve done some research & really want her to get the SureStep brand. When I talked to the orthotist office they informed me that they would be doing casting. On the SureStep website it says casting isn’t necessary so now I’m worried she’ll be getting something different & clunkier. Can you tell me if you did casting or just the measurements? My name is Dawn & e-mail is DVerHague@gmail.com. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And thank you for sharing your story on this blog for mommies like me who are just starting on this journey.

    • caitfind says:

      Dawn – Case was not casted for the SureStep SMOs – just measured. I don’t know a whole lot about other types of orthotics, but do know that the SureSteps seem to have really helped. He’s taking some independent steps! Hope you get some answers!

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