When we entered the adoption process, we chose the route of adopting a minor-correctable special needs program. When we adopted Malachi, we knew that he had a few minor medical conditions that were treated and are irrelevant after being in the states for the last eight months. What wasn’t on any of his medical files was that fact that Malachi is bow-legged. Our doctors wanted to see if they would straighten out with better nutrition. But after 8 months they actually look worse. Which led us to the orthopedic specialist at AI DuPont Children’s Hospital here in Delaware.
Malachi has Bilateral Blount’s Disease, which is a growth disorder of the tibia (shin bone) that causes the lower leg to angle inward, resembling a bowleg. The disease is sometimes attributed to weight, small stature, and/or early walking. It is a progressive condition that will continue to get worse if not treated.
As of last week, Malachi started the most common form of early intervention- which is wearing leg braces in an attempt to curve the legs back inward to their proper alignment. By later this week, he will be wearing the braces for 8-12 hours a day. If the braces do not work (or bring enough correction) then there are some surgical possibilities for Malachi.
I can imagine that leg braces are not fun at any age- but especially at an age where you cannot fully understand why you are having to wear braces! The first several days were quite draining emotionally as Malachi would cry and scream about the braces. He made a bit of a turn on Sunday and seemed to be more accepting of the braces and is walking some on his own. At this point, his braces are locked and he cannot bend his knee while wearing the brace- which does make walking difficult and getting up off the floor near impossible without help.
If you have been around Malachi, you know how happy he is- and the reality is that he is still just as happy, even with the braces. Our prayer is that the leg braces that Malachi wears would be part of the healing process for his legs. So Malachi is the Bionic Man or perhaps Ironman, ready to save the world!