Thursday, April 4, 2013

Night Splint: Update with Pictures

Things are crazy busy here.  In the past month, we've had sickness, health, travel, sleepovers, and spring break, not always in that order.

Here are pictures of the splints on E's legs:

Splints and a smile

close up

These splints are basically polyester backing over some semi-flexible metal rods, secured around her legs (knees) with three fat velcro bands.  They are relatively easy to put on.  Elena has never tried to take them off herself.  We have other types of braces--her DynaSplint and her night brace (basically an open AFO) but her night brace is now too small (we had it made years ago, and couldn't wear it due to our nighttime issues) and she prefers these splints to the DynaSplint (although I'd prefer to switch to them b/c she can bend a knee if necessary).  Anyway--

Side view progression:

First Day
Rear View:

First Day

When I take pictures I do not give Elena any cues on how to stand, lean, etc.  I take pictures almost every morning, and I have noticed a shift in standing (static position)--her position is taller and more upright.  Her heels are down more, but I think that is just due to standing practice, not due to the splints.

As far as other changes, I have noticed two:  she is slightly easier to stretch during our nightly hamstring stretches, and when walking barefoot she does not fall as often.  I need to clarify that when she walks barefoot, she is on her toes, with her knees bent.  I think of this as "walking while falling", if there isn't a place for her to run into to stop.  Sometimes she only takes a few steps and gets frustrated when she falls--this used to happen all the time.  I can say with conviction this happens MUCH less in the past few weeks, an observation I just realized.

On the negative side, Elena does not sleep through the night while wearing the splints.  She typically wakes up 2-5 hours in, calls for me, and I remove them.  This means both of us wake up at least once per night (I am a very light sleeper).  I don't like to interrupt her sleep, but the interruption is quick and doesn't seem to bother her.  I feel that if she goes to sleep while wearing the splints (which she does well), she'll eventually get used to wearing them for longer periods of time.  So far that hasn't really happened, but we'll wait and see.


Anonymous said...

That really is a nice improvement on her standing. Her heels aren't even up anymore. Nice job Elena!

People with CP are always "walking while falling" in some fashion or at least our brains think so.

Amy said...

I think these improvements are pretty impressive. Her legs definitely look longer and more flexible. Thanks for sharing. Emma's right leg has been so tight lately always constantly bent at the knee. Yet, her left leg does not seem as effected. It makes standing crazy because she is so assymetrical without a lift. But she still can't seem to get her foot flat--toes all the way. Total messes up any stride. Actually, Em's pelvis has a slight tilt. This night splint thing is intriguing me to check it out. Can you show us (me) what the splints look like. Have you posted a pic before? Would love to see what I am looking for.

Anonymous said...

May I ask what the actual splints look like? I have been told that I too need to start wearing them for a similar problem and I was wondering what I will have to try and sleep in.

Anonymous said...

Nice pics of the actual splints. She looks pretty happy. They don't look too uncomfortable except they might be too hot in summer.

Amy said...

Thanks for the pictures of the splints. They don't look as "harsh" as what I had in mind or as uncomfortable either. Not sure what Elena would say about that, huh? She looks so grown up there on the bed. Emma says she is pretty, and that she think if Elena can wear them that she might be able too. Thanks so much for that!!! Thanks for taking the time to put the photos up!

Kline Hanover said...

I hope she is doing great. I had night splintswhen I was ten for toe walking Achilles lengthening. Thinking of her calling for you at night hit me deeply. The struggles are awful but she is clearly a tough unbreakable little warrior with a great family.