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Jun 14, 2022 / Clubfoot & Foot Disorders

Share Your Story: I Got This

Meet Ella, a patient who is treated by our experts in the Center for Excellence in Clubfoot and Foot Disorders. Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Ella's mother, Lindsay. 

I was about halfway through my pregnancy when we found out that our baby, Ella, would be born with a clubfoot. Our standard anatomy scan revealed we were going to have a baby girl, plus indicated there might additional issues going on.   
Our doctor referred us to a specialist, where we learned that Ella most likely had a rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, in addition to clubfoot. In order to confirm the heart condition, her little heart needed more time to grow and develop. That waiting period was very stressful, but after a couple of weeks and many prayers, we learned that Ella had a healthy heart. She still had clubfoot, so we then went to a different specialist in Oklahoma City.  
As soon as she was born, we started her clubfoot treatment. I wanted to be on top of things and give her the very best possible outcome. Immediately following her birth, Ella’s left foot was casted for four weeks. She then had an Achilles tenotomy procedure, where the Achilles tendon was cut so the ankle could bend upwards. We did so much casting and bracing when she was a baby!   
During this time, I remember feeling a lot of guilt because our doctor would tell my husband and me that we needed to be doing more. More stretching and more exercises with Ella. My mom intuition kicked in, and I had a bad gut feeling that something just wasn’t right. Her little foot literally wouldn’t stretch anymore, so I consulted with a physical therapist who confirmed my feelings.  
Ella underwent another Achilles tenotomy in January of 2019, followed by a tibial osteotomy in December of 2019. During the tibial osteotomy, her tibia was cut and repositioned. This caused Ella to be in extreme pain. We did not have a very good experience at that original hospital, and that was when that I started to research other hospitals and learned about Scottish Rite for Children.  
I reached out to a respected doctor that I know, and he referred us to Scottish Rite. He told us that the doctors at Scottish Rite were the absolute best! And they are! Ella’s first appointment with Dr. Riccio was in the fall of 2020. At that time, he told us what we didn’t want to hear – another surgery would be necessary for Ella. We had been through so much with our first doctor and hospital that I was very uncertain and had lots of anxiety about what to do.   
After much prayer, we decided to schedule a tendon transfer and release surgery with Dr. Riccio.

He could sense that I was afraid, and I was so touched with how he took the time to talk to us and help ease my fears.

The day of her surgery, I was a complete mess. I had stayed up all night, going down a dark rabbit hole on the internet. I will never forget when Dr. Riccio walked in the pre-op area and said, “I got this”. After her surgery, he came to talk with us in recovery and had a huge smile on his face as he walked into the room. He told us that he thought we were going to be very happy with the results. Those memories will be in my mind forever.   
We are thrilled with the results! We are FOREVER thankful to Dr. Riccio and his entire team. The kindness Ella experienced with the Child Life team was also life changing. Our entire family thanks God for Dr. Riccio and I tell anyone who has a child with clubfoot to go to see him immediately!  



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