Nina's Cerebral Palsy is called Spastic Diplegia. In simple terms, it means that Cerebral Palsy affects primarily her legs, (although her upper body is affected as well). Nina's left side is also much stronger than her right side.
Nina got her AFO's (leg braces) after being home for 4 months. We had to really stretch her feet and calfs in order to get her AFO's on. They stayed on for a short time, but she was so tight that her heel would begin to creep up regardless of the straps on the braces. When this happened, she was done with her AFO's, crying and asking for them to come off. It was very painful.
Her feet not staying in her AFO's is what led us to doing Botox on her calf muscles. Botox was our little "miracle" to get Nina's feet to stay in her braces. Although the Botox has certainly worn off from her calfs, we were able to "break in" the AFO's, and she can tolerate them for up to 4-5 hours a day.
But Nina's is really tight, and there really is no easy fix to her spasticity. If you look closely at the pictures bellow, you will see that although Nina is wearing her braces, her feet are not touching the ground (not even close!) and her knees are bent and turned inside. If she gets really tired, her knees touch and her feet are spread wide (and upside down V).
This following video will give you an idea oh what it is like for Nina to move around our house with her AFO's. I asked her to walk the length of the couch and you can see how much her knees are bent when she walks as well as the fact that she is still walking on her toes.
Nina had been wearing her braces all morning by the time I took these pictures and the video. You probably heard that she was complaining about it a little bit. So I took her braces off. You would think that after a few hours being stretched by her braces that her heels would be closer to the ground, but that is not the case. She is back on her toes as soon as the braces come off (although the left foot is not all the way up!)
So I asked Nina to walk for me one more time without her braces. She was being really silly, so there are 2 short videos.