31 Jul

Alfie Dixon's Story

Alfie Dixon's Story Alfie Dixon's Story
The story
When Alfie Dixon started walking at 11 months old, his mother saw that something was not quite right. He was continually walking high on his tiptoes - a fact that his mother pointed our to doctors, who were convinced he would grow out of it. However even after starting at nursery school, where Alfie's teachers commented on his toe-walking, her concerns only mounted. At four years old, Alfie was still walking on tiptoes. He had clearly not grown out of it, and had been complaining of leg pain, which was why his mother persisted with his doctors about referring him to a physiotherapist - which does not usually happen until the patient is at least seven years old. 

The treatment
There a diagnosis was completed; Alfie had a condition known as idiopathic toe walking. Left untreated, this could cause significant problems, even requiring surgery in the future. To prevent this, Alfie's physiotherapist gave him a set of activities to stretch the affected muscles, and referred him to an orthotist at Seacroft Hospital. This is where Steeper came in...

Mark, a Steeper clinician, observed Alfie walking to assess the severity of his condition. Finding his condition severe indeed, he then arranged to have casts fitted for Alfie, manipulating his feet and maintaining them at maximum stretch. This process was then repeated at increasing increments for three weeks to prevent the splints becoming too painful, whilst at the same time, not hindering his ability to join in with his friends' activities. 
The turning point
Mid-way through the process, a model was taken of Alfie's lower legs, which enabled Steeper's team to design and craft a unique set of splints tailored to Alfie in every way - even down to the Scooby Doo pattern on them (Alfie was very proud of these - and couldn't wait to show everyone his new splints). These were fitted after the third casts were removed, including alterations to minimise discomfort, while custom shoes were also provided for Alfie's comfort. 

Alfie's treatment continues today, but the difference in his life is already huge. No longer limited by leg pain, he's now living life to the four-year-old full, being able to ride his bike, walk and run for longer, enjoy better balance everywhere from the playground to his grandparents' farm, and feel far more confident with his friends.

Alfie's Case Study