Jonathan’s decision

Jonathan holding a soccer ball in his soccer uniform, smiling.
Jonathan played indoor soccer in January.

Jonathan has a big decision to make

Jonathan was born with a small right foot, and has been wearing an AFO (Ankle, Foot Orthotic) brace which helps him to wear shoes without them falling off. He is able to walk and run barefoot just fine. We found out last year that his right leg is also almost an inch shorter than his left leg. He wears a lift on the bottom of his tennis shoes that helps his hips line up evenly.

There are three options in front of him, all requiring surgery.

  1. They can do a surgery on his left leg to slow the growth of his left leg. This would allow his right leg to catch up to the left leg and they would be more even. This is the least invasive surgery but, he would end up being about an inch shorter than he would have been naturally. It is the quickest recovery, he would be walking again in a few days, and back to normal activity: running, biking, etc. in six weeks. He would have this surgery done in 18 months (January 2020) if this is the option he chooses. Right now, he is leaning towards this surgery.
  2. They can do a surgery to help lengthen the right leg. One method is to break the leg, put a metal rod in it and slowly the leg grows as it heals, until it is the same length as the other leg. This will take about 6 months, and he wouldn’t not be able to put weight on it that whole time. This surgery would be done when he is about 16 years old.
  3. Another method is to put pins into the bone with an exterior leg brace, which is wore for 6 months. He would need weekly therapy and would be required to bear weigh on it during this time. This would also be done when he his about 16 years old.

We have a few months to think about it, but the doctors at Shriners advise that if he wants to do the growth plate surgery it would need to be done in 18 months, when we come back to the US for his next appointment.

Please pray for Jonathan and for us to have wisdom, and for the doctors as they advise us about the path forward. It is hard to know that the decisions we make now will affect Jonathan for rest of his life.

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