Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Center
Carson and Fibular Deficiency

Carson's Story: A Leg Up

Video Transcript

Jennifer Cain, Carson's Mom: "So when I was pregnant with him, just went for my typical ultrasound, they discovered what they thought to be a club foot, and then he was born and they immediately knew that that was not the case. They took an x-ray and found that he was missing his fibula in his right leg.

Carson was born with a condition called fibular deficiency, which means that his leg doesn’t grow normally and his ankle and foot are also affected.

Jennifer: "When he was 3 months old, we were given the choice of the ankle reconstruction and leg lengthening or would we rather go the route of amputating his foot and he would just wear a prosthetic for the rest of his life.”

Scott Cain, Carson's Dad: “It was either way you decide, you’ll be fine. But we just really didn’t want him to spend an entire childhood on the couch healing with all kinds of surgeries.”

Not sure which route to take, the Cain family traveled to Cincinnati Children’s for answers. Here, they met Dr. James McCarthy and everything changed.

Jennifer: “It's gonna be three surgeries and then he’ll be good to go and he’d be playing sports and it was like, “Did you really just say that?” It was just a huge comfort and relief.

James McCarthy, MD, Director of Orthopaedics: "We’re not here to tell your child what they need, we’re here to provide options. And we have all those options available, all those tools are available to us."

So when Carson was 3 years old, he came to Cincinnati Children’s for the leg lengthening surgery.

Jennifer: “Surgery went very, very well that day.  He did phenomenal. … He just blew through it with flying colors. He’s pretty awesome.”

A few months later, Carson is on the move and ready to take on whatever comes at him.

Jennifer: "“It’s just been amazing. And we see it in Carson. He’s doing everything that everyone ever said he would. You cannot slow that little boy down. We’re thrilled with what we see now and if it’s at all a glimpse of what his future will be, nothing is gonna stand in his way."