The boy born with no ankles or knees who can now own a pair of shoes for the first time – thanks to his amazing new legsTed Johnson, 3, was born without shinbones, knees or ankles Has the rare condition tibial hemimelia, where shinbone is missingHad to have his legs amputated when he was a year oldHas had previous prosthetic legs, but this is the first time he's had feet

By
Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED:

12:10 GMT, 21 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:33 GMT, 21 March 2013

A little boy born without shinbones, knees or ankles is finally able to own his first pair of shoes after being fitted with special prosthetic legs with feet.

Three-year-old Ted Johnson's new legs have feet – unlike his last few pairs.

This week, he tried out his new blue fibreglass prosthetic legs for the first time on the basketball court at the Royal Children's Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia.

Up and about: Three-year-old Ted Johnson tries out his new prosthetic legs with feet

Up and about: Three-year-old Ted Johnson tries out his new prosthetic legs with feet

He was born with without shinbones, knees or ankles due to a rare condition called tibial hemimelia

He was born with without shinbones, knees or ankles due to a rare condition called tibial hemimelia

Scans while his mother Abbie was pregnant failed to reveal that Ted was suffering from the rare condition tibial hemimelia.

This is
where there the tibia – the shinbone – is either partially or totally
missing at birth. The foot may also be deformed or may have additional
toes.

Ted's condition
meant his parents, Abbie and Peter, were forced to take the agonising
decision to have his legs amputated when he was a year old.

The youngster has previously been fitted with two other types of prosthetics, but this is the first set with actual feet.

And
as soon as the new blue fibreglass legs were strapped on with Velcro,
he was on the move. His mother said: 'He's incredible – nothing stops
him.

Rare: The condition means the tibia - the shinbone - is either partially or totally missing at birth

Rare: The condition means the tibia – the shinbone – is either partially or totally missing at birth

Now he has feet, Ted will be able to choose his first pair of shoes

Now he has feet, Ted will be able to choose his first pair of shoes

'We thought he might need a
frame to get around at first, so I can't believe how well he's doing.
We're going shoe shopping tomorrow for the first time.'

Prosthetist
Jim Lavranos, who made and adjusted each of Ted's three sets of legs,
said it usually took children up to three or four years to move through
the progressions of leg extensions.

'He's getting these much earlier than we'd normally do it, just because he's so confident and quick.
He'll fly through these.'

Most
legs affected by tibial hemimelia will look 'unusual'. It can occur
either in one leg or both legs, with 30 per cent of patients having both
legs affected. It is detected at birth, if not before.

On the move: As soon as the new blue fibreglass legs were strapped on with Velcro, Ted was walking about

On the move: As soon as the new blue fibreglass legs were strapped on with Velcro, Ted was walking about

Ted

Ted

Tibial Hemimelia can occur either in one leg or both legs, with 30 per cent of patients having both legs affected

Treatment depends on the exact
form of the condition. For the mildest form, apparatus may be used to
lengthen the leg and improve the position of the foot.

In more severe cases, amputation is often considered the best option, followed by the use of a prosthetic leg.

Some
attempts at reconstruction using the fibula have been made, but rarely
provide a well functioning limb due to instability at the knee and
problems with the quadriceps (thigh) musculature.

For more information, visit the Steps charity website here