Two weeks ago, I was called down to the nursery at our church because the workers noticed Eleanor's left ankle was swollen and she appeared to favor it when she walked. We tried putting some ice on it (that didn't work well with a toddler), and eventually decided to leave church early, grab lunch and take her to urgent care to be examined. She would fuss a little bit if you messed with her foot, but she was still walking around it without crying. Eleanor was as good as gold in the urgent care, not complaining at all until she needed xrays and Mommy couldn't be in the room with her due to my pregnancy. Then she lost it! X-rays came back normal, and they diagnosed her with a sprain. The doctor said that if it didn't improve or appeared to get worse, we would need to have it examined again, because fractures can show up later.
Fast forward two weeks. We were out of town for part of that time, so we didn't worry about it much then, other than making sure she wore her sneakers rather than her flip flops to walk around. (To this day, we are not certain what caused the injury.) Her ankle was still swollen and she was walking with a limp, which some days appeared more pronounced than others. Even without a direct 'limp', she now walks with her left foot turned at a 90 degree angle and her right foot pointing ahead. I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor and took her there yesterday.
The doctor was great, and was not inclined to think there was serious injury because of how well she was walking. Apparently, for children under four years of age, their healing time should roughly equal the number of years in weeks, i.e., a 2 year old should be healed in 2 weeks. IF we had seen him immediately after the injury, he probably would have put her in a cast even without a break showing so that the injury could mend. But we didn't go, and now it has been two weeks and it is likely that things are mended. They ran a second set of xrays (horrible, horrible time of screaming from Eleanor while I stood out of the way), which showed nothing broken. The doctor thinks it is possible that her foot/ankle has healed but she will need short term therapy to correct her walk. However, since I still think she occasionally expresses pain and discomfort related to that foot, he put her in a short cast for 7-10 days. This will allow us to know for certain that things are healed--at the end of this period, everything should be better! If she continues to 'walk funny' a few days after the cast comes off, we will pursue therapy to correct it.
So now my sweet little 21 month old girl is sporting a pretty purple cast, and it is both adorable and sad. Last night, she pointed to it, and said "Daddy, Off!!" to her father. He about died having to tell her no, and then when she stuck out her bottom lip and melted down...well, let's just say it was a hard moment for everyone. We have learned that a cast on wood floor is very slippery, but E has adjusted today to crawling across those surfaces and walking across carpet. Clothing will be interesting over the next few days, as pants won't fit over the cast unless they have a lot of "give". Thankful that it is warmer than we would like right now! Pray that her foot/ankle would heal thoroughly, and that no therapy would be needed. Enjoy the pictures of the cutest little cast model you've ever seen!
Date taken: October 2, 2012