Getting another leg up…

This post is a correction and elaboration on my post a couple weeks ago (Getting a leg up on Scoliosis).  I met with our Podiatrist yesterday and he helped me understand a couple issues in greater depth.

1.  I misspoke on the way that he measures leg length discrepancy.  He does NOT measure a leg length discrepancy by measuring the hip level of a patient.  I was incorrect on this – I guess I mis-heard and misinterpreted.  He measures from the top of each femural bone, laser leveled to the floor.  This is how he’s been measuring for 27 years and he claims it is extremely accurate.  He feels the traditional and widespread use of full leg x-rays subject the body to much more radiation than is necessary and also costs much more.  I applaud him for thinking about these details.  So, after learning this, I was relatively comfortable with the accuracy of the test.  He also said the place the x-ray is taken must be inspected and re-certified every so often to ensure things are still level.  So, that makes sense.

2.  I mentioned that our Podiatrist felt that for every 1mm of leg discrepancy, a patient’s spine could be affected.  I wanted to elaborate on that.   He actually did a large independent study, having an x-ray technician help him measure the x-rays of every single one of his patients (I can’t remember the sample set, but I think it was in the hundreds).  Anyway, they compared the offset of the spine with the leg length discrepancy, and they found that for every 1mm of leg length discrepancy, that the spine was offset an average of 1.5 degrees, up to 10mm.  After 10mm, the effects were lessened.  So, it seems that even small amounts correlate with spinal offest.  Correlation does not mean causation, but the findings of his study are noteworthy nonetheless.  I also can say with quite a bit of certainty that my daughter’s 2.8mm of supposed discrepancy would only, then, account for 5 degrees of offset or curvature, which doesn’t really touch her 55 degrees of curvature, so it doesn’t appear that the 2.8mm of correction would hack away at such a curve.

Nevertheless, although he was not pleased with my decision to withhold from adding the lift to my daughter’s shoe orthotics, he was supportive and offered alternative things to try.  One alternative was to put shoe liners in her shoe (at approxmiately 1mm each) and see how a gradual change might affect her.  We will see.  She will be getting shoe orthotics, though, that will hopefully help with her localized foot discomfort.  In the words of this wise Doctor, “If you ask 10 Doctors the same question, you will get 11 different answers.”  I wholeheartedly agreed with him – the problem was just that when you are a patient, or parent of a patient, you have to figure out which answer to listen to and act on.  Unfortunately for him, I went against his best advice.  But, we reached a compromise and I am happy we still have a good working relationship.


The Bees Knees

I finally took some time to update my dreary header from the start of the year with something colorful and whimsical and so cheery!  We don’t always have to be ho hum and depressed and driven here at Scoliosis Family Adventures.  We have a fun side, too.  And, what better way to depict spring on a Scoliosis blog but with a tough little animal who DOESN’T HAVE A SPINE!  Yes, the bee.  I have recently been inspired by my friend Gerry Buckel’s amazing nature photography, featuring sights and scenes from my beautiful home state of Michigan.  (You can follow her facebook page here and find daily inspiration as well)  I will also put a link to her facebook page on my facebook page (click here to like EmBraced In Comfort) and on my sidebar.  Anyway, it also seemed fitting to pick the bee because they are such driven workers, and I am celebrating THREE YEARS of doing this blog!  Yes, my first post was April of 2009.  I can’t believe it’s been that long – and I can’t thank my readers and followers enough for honoring me with your reading of my ramblings.  When I decided to make a banner featuring the hardy bee, I thought about the origins of the phrase “The Bees Knees.”  I thought it was ironic, since bees have no knees (no bones!).  The funny thing is that the origin is really unknown.  The phrase was big in the day of the “flapper” and a big part of the “flapper speak”.  One famous flapper, Miss Bee Jackson, was one of the dancers of the day to popularize the Charlston, so some sources contemplate that the phrase started talking about her knees.  Another source claims that it stands for the “Be all” or “end all”.  Regardless of its origin, however, the meaning is well known: it means something great, wonderful, the height of excellence.  So, here’s to things I think are the “bees knees”:

  • My family
  • My God
  • My wonderful blog readers (for three years)!
  • Making people comfortable in their braces with my undergarment designs (EmBraced In Comfort)
  • Music
  • Theater
  • Yoga
  • Chocolate
  • Gerry’s photography

Ironically, I’m NOT a big fan of bees!  But, maybe now I’ll start appreciating them more (as long as they don’t sting me and give me hives again – yikes!)

Go and hug those you think are the bees knees and celebrate Spring!  God’s blessings upon all of you for a wonderful Easter and for the season to come!!