Hypermobility – reaching the top of the hill


My daughter climbed a hill today. Not just any old hill, but a really long, really steep one.

This is a big deal because, just over a year ago, she couldn’t walk.

In May last year we found out my toddler had hypermobile joints. Put simply, we were told her joints were too flexible to support her weight. Imagine a pipe cleaner or elastic band trying to hold up a marble, and you get the picture. 

At nearly two years old my daughter still couldn’t walk and would be left sitting on the floor watching on helplessly as other children played around her, running and jumping. It was painful to watch the side effects of her delayed walking: withdrawal from play, intense shyness in new surroundings and an obvious hesitance to use her very chatty vocabulary the more she became aware of her difference to other kids.

Hypermobile toddler

Once physio treatment started we noticed a marked improvement. Her little feet – with no in-step and turned out at right angles to her body – started to move inwards. She was given special Piedro boots to do the job of her bendy ankles and to help strengthen her knees and hips.

Once she was up on her feet and walking, these were replaced with hospital-issue insoles which slotted into normal shoes. She still has these and, we’re told, probably always will. High heels and wedges look unlikely in the future, although our doctor won’t rule out the possibility that her feet will correct themselves at some point.

Hypermobile feetJust over a year on and I often forget the battles we went through to get Frog up on her feet. The nights where I would worry myself to sleep, afraid to imagine what could be wrong with her, are a distant memory.

I can barely remember the lump in my throat as I watched my baby be held down, screaming, under an X-Ray machine, as doctors worked to rule out hip dysplasia. I have brushed aside the image of my girl clinging to me terrified while a needle was jabbed into her soft skin and blood was drawn, as consultants checked her intense fatigue wasn’t caused by anaemia – or anything more sinister.

The truth is, just over a year on and Frog is OK. She can walk and run and jump with the best of them. Her hypermobility is only really evident when she gets excited – especially if she’s sitting down. That’s because her little body tenses with glee and her legs bend the wrong way towards the ceiling, like a double-jointed picture of happiness. (Incidentally, she also flaps her arms about as if she’d take off, but that’s nothing to do with her hypermobility.)

When I look back on where we were in April and May 2012, I can barely believe what my three year old is now capable of. Although she still often needs a buggy and asks to be carried after a while, she is a determined little person – and strong willed to boot. Today she decided she was going to walk up the huge hill to our house all by herself, and she did.

Who knows, tomorrow she might run up it.

Hypermobile girl




  1. Kate W says

    Don’t worry about the excited arm flapping……I do that NOW, and I am 34!!

    That little Lady will achieve ANYTHING she sets her mind to – I wouldn’t be surprised if she defies the odds and ends up with a shoe collection Mr Jimmy Choo HIMSELF would be proud of……..

    Never stop aiming for the Stars Miss Frog!!!

  2. Joanna says

    So reassuring.
    We are where you were a year ago. Hyper mobile and at almost 22 months not walking. Physio helping beyond all my (readjusted!) expectations.
    Cant wait for ‘hill day’ :-)

    • says

      It WILL come – just keep going! Physio is hugely helpful and, although it’s a long old road, once you get to the top of that hill you’ll forget what it felt like at the bottom. I promise.

    • says

      That’s great to hear of another child doing so well – I actually think Frog would LOVE to be able to bust out with the splits at any given moment!

  3. says

    That’s a lovely positive post! I too (as you know) have a Bendy-Boo and physio has been amazing.

    As for heels – Boo is often found stealing mine and clip-clopping around! She’s just turned 4 ;0)

  4. says

    Lovely positive update. :) I laughed at your comment above about there being chocolate at the top of the hill. That’d get me to the top too 😉

    We’ve Ehlers–Danlos in the family so hypermobility is something we’re all too familiar with. I was paranoid for a while as my son pulled himself up / walked with one foot pointing out for a while. It seems to have corrected itself so I think we got away with it again this time.

    • says

      That’s good news – hypermobility has a habit of cropping up down the family line doesn’t it? We couldn’t work out which side of the family F inherited her bendy limbs from, but it turns out it’s probably me. I’ve been getting back into Yoga recently and my teacher has noticed I’m too bendy in my back and legs, something which I’ve never noticed before.

  5. Niki says

    I am 22 and have hypermobility, arthritis and a herniated spinal disc so I can definitely relate to the being tired quickly! Well done to your little frog. The hypermobility will make her a great dancer one day!

  6. Adoring Granny says

    Hi Molly, well done to your little Frog, just goes to show how determined little ones can be. My little granddaughter has just been diagnosed with hypermobility and she is 3 and walked at 18months, (how lucky was she) it brought tears to my eyes reading about F and I hope that our little Isla will turn out to be as determined to do things. Running and walking any distance is a bit of a struggle and fatigue. Hoping that she might just grow out of it , but in the meantime she will need specail shoes and physio. Good luck little Frog in all you do, I hope you boogy with the best.

    • says

      Thank you for the lovely comment. Frog is doing really well and it’s a pleasure to see she isn’t being held back as I feared she would. Thank you for taking the time to read – and it sounds like Isla will go far too!

  7. Kelly says

    Hi Molly
    Wow I am amazed by your story as I could quite easily be reading about my little frankie! He was born at full term but very little at 4lb. When he arrived in the world safely we thought all the worries after a dreadful pregnancy were finally behind us…how wrong we were :( At 6 months old there was some concern over his head control and as a result were referred for physio. Again we thought this was just a temporary thing and after a few weeks everything would be ok. Since then we have been told he has significant GDD having not met any of his milestones. He is now 24 months and despite cruising well for a good 6 months we are no where near him going solo! We have increased concerns over his feet pointing at 90 degrees and the picture of frogs feet is identical to one we have! He also has tiny feet and finding a sturdy pair of size 2’s is a challenge! His kicker boots are too big :(( despite being under a paed and physio’s not one have agreed he has hyper mobility but we believe he does!

  8. Kelly says

    Ps I am thrilled to see Frog is doing so well you must be extremely proud of your beautiful strong willed little girl :)

  9. Belly's_mommy says

    I am the proud mommy of a 21 month ols precious doll. Born at 4.10 and 35 weeks. She has yet to let go of her fear and walk all on her own. Crawls like a pro, climbs like a monkey and cruises furniture with no problem and she has mastered knee walking, that is her specialty. Has taken some solo steps but not consistent. Hubby and I suspect and almost positive she has HM. I can’t take any more people telling me that one day she will just let go and walk. But it has not happened and i dont think it will happen that easy. I cry my self asleep almost every night. I love to hear positive words and see how normal your little Frog is. I need support and guidance. Who diagnosed your daughter? Our Ped suggested we see a Neuro muscular doctor , as she is concerned B can’t stand without holding onto something or somebody. What tests are required to determined she has HM? Please help me, i am lost and desperate. It is great to see your little fighter conquered that hill. Many thanks .

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