Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gross Motor Update

Mikan's most recent physiatry trip was a little disappointing.  The physiatrist can't figure out a way to stop him from dragging his toes when he walks.  She didn't mention wanting to back off on any of his bracing, only try new adjustments and therapies.  Mikan doesn't appear to have any foot or leg issues that are causing him problems, it is his ataxia that is the root of everything.  Ataxia is a condition that affects the part of his brain that controls balance and coordination.  Because of his ataxia, his movements are varied and unpredictable.  His bracing is supposed to support his walking while also preventing bone deformities that might need surgical correction.

The physiatrist reminded us that as he grows, each issue becomes harder to correct because we will be trying to control a bigger, stronger body.  She said that we shouldn't rule out the possibility of surgery down the road and that he may need to practice using a walker in public for safety reasons.  He already uses his walker at school during some transitions.

So after she tried a variety of different contraptions in his shoes and on his legs, she decided to recommend experimenting with ESTIM (electrical muscle stimulation) during his PT sessions.  She isn't too confident that this will help; she said her treatments are all just trial and error right now for him since he isn't responding very predictably.  It seems like just six months ago we were talking about downgrading to SMOs and now we are discussing walkers and surgeries.  We follow up in three months to discuss the EMS therapy and whether or not he tolerates it.

A video of a recent "fight" Mikan and Anica had over where they wanted to travel to: