Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) are making use of a revolutionary new brace in the treatment of a young patient, preventing the need for surgery.
Known as a Blount Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (or KAFO for short), the innovative brace allows the wearer to undertake normal activity, without too much discomfort, while correcting leg alignment at the same time. Designed in America, this is one of the first cases in which the support has been used in the country.
Doncaster youngster, Lexie-Mai, two years old, has Blount’s disease, a condition which affects the bones of the lower leg. Sometimes known as bowed legs, the disease causes the shinbone to bend outward instead of growing straight. The condition can start in early childhood and if left untreated can cause the leg to curve leading to disability in later life.
Graham Moore, Clinical Lead for Orthotics at the Trust, said: “By making use of these innovative KAFOs, we are able to care for Lexie-Mai without resorting to more invasive and immobilising treatments such as surgery. As a result, the little girl is able to play and move around as normal, without too much interruption.
“As a team we’re always looking to new technology in order to better care for our patients. By making use of this alternative method of treatment it is just another example of our commitment to continuous improvement, ultimately for the benefit of those in our care.”
It is expected that Lexie-Mai will wear the brace for 10 to 12 months, at which time the corrective apparatus will be removed. If the treatment works as intended, the youngster’s leg should see a noticeable change in alignment.
Shelby Rowan, Lexie-Mai’s mum, said: “I want to thank the team at DBTH who have been caring for Lexie. I imagine surgery would have caused her much more discomfort, thankfully while using this brace Lexie is able to carry on as normal, playing and enjoying her childhood, all while making sure her legs grow properly.”