Friday, March 19, 2010

Ellie's surgery

before surgery

new casts

comfortable after surgery is done

resting comfortably at home

Ellie's surgery went well yesterday. The doctor said everything went as expected.

We had to be prepared for the possibility that Ellie would need some sedation, so she was not able to have her regular feeds in the morning. That turned out to be unnecessary though as Ellie was the perfect patient and did not move or get too scared during the procedure. The doctor even allowed Adam and I to stay in the room and comfort Ellie while she operated! Ellie did cry quite a bit especially when the doctor was stretching the tendons. But she calmed down while the casting was done.

It was a full tenotomy, which means that the tendon was cut completely, but in infants and young children it reattaches and heals itself. So during this period of casting, the tendon is reattaching and healing, only in a more comfortable and natural position than it was before.

Ellie is now resting comfortably. She had a very peaceful night and is adapting to the casts really well. She will get the casts removed in around two weeks, at which point she will have new AFOs made (splints) that she will wear to keep the tendon stretched to the right position.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ellie's Heels

Well, we went to see the Orthopedist today to get casts on Ellie's legs, but walked out with a surgery date instead! After looking at Ellie's heel cord and weighing the options, we decided that it would be better to just jump to the surgery option.

Surgery will be next Thursday at the hospital. They are going to try to do it with just local anesthesia, but want to have her at the hospital in case complications arise. It is a small incision in each heel, not even requiring stitching. They make a small clip in each heel cord, allowing it to stretch to full range, and then she will be casted for a couple of weeks while it heals and stretches.

I'm confident that this is the right decision. Ellie has been fighting this problem since birth, and all the non-invasive options just did not do enough to correct the problem. I'm only sorry that we were not referred to an Orthopedist earlier!

The doctor also looked at all of Ellie's ortho situation, including her spine and hips. These are very important areas for severely disabled kiddos. There is a high risk of the spine curving due to lack of support, and of hip dysplagia due to contractures in the hip area.

Well, we found out that Ellie has the early stages of both :( For the spine, the Dr is recommending a special brace that will offer support when she is in upright sitting positions (mainly her wheelchair). The extra support will hopefully help her spine stay straight. For the hips, the Dr is recommending trying botox injections, this time in the hips. This will hopefully relax things and allow the hips to remain in the correct position. 

I was not surprised by either of these things, but disappointed that these troubles have begun. But we are no stranger to such things, and will take them as they come. I'm relieved to know about the problem and be in the care of someone who can help us prevent further damage.

Thanks for checking in!

Emily and Ellie