Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ortho Appointment Details

I won't keep you waiting.  It's surgery time.  Well, we're shooting for April.  I need to call her scheduler tomorrow to schedule it.  But I think we'll try to work it around Spring Break, if possible.  Which kills me.  Because while everyone else is doing something fun, we'll be doing ... that.

Here's the skinny:

There has been a significant change in her spine since last year (and not in a good way).  She has a hemi-vertebrae (half a vertebrae) at the bottom of her spine (sacrum), right above her left hip.  Not only is it half of a vertebrae, it is very abnormally shaped and it looks like it's a part of the one above it.  It's weird.  This is the one that needs to be addressed first.

She also has another hemi-vertebrae in her c-spine (her neck).  The surgeon said the higher the problem, the riskier the surgery.  We will wait on this one as long as possible.

She also has a butterfly vertebrae in her lower/middle of her back (lumbar).  That's the one that you can see - as it sticks out (kyphosis scoliosis).  When you hear the term scoliosis, most think the spine curves to the left or right.  But, with hers (in this particular area) it makes the spine curve front to back.  So, from a side view, it looks like a "c".  So, the abnormal section in her sacrum causes a left/right shift and this one causes a front/back curve.  I hope that makes sense.

She wants to do the sacrum surgery first.  She wants to see how removing the hemi-vertebrae (and then fusing the vertebrae above/below it with pin/screws) will affect the rest of her spine.  It might do enough good that we can wait a while longer on the other areas.

She said she doesn't want to wait anymore.  Too risky.  The worse it gets, the harder the surgery, the harder the recovery.  Since her problems are structural (meaning it's not just a curvature - the structure is abnormal itself) a brace is not an option.

The surgery itself will take about 3-4 hours.  And she will come out of the OR with a BODY CAST.   A BODY CAST!  UGH!  She said she is too wild for anything less.  Here's what her and Cooper were doing BEFORE the surgeon came into the room (you can see the kyphosis in her back):

Brandy took Cooper out of the room so I could talk to the surgeon.  But, Harlie remained pretty wild.  I think she was feeling a little sassy with her new hair cut.

So, a body cast for 6-8 weeks.  She will put only one leg in the cast and will bend it slightly so we can get her in the car seat.  The surgeon gave me a time frame of 4-6 months.  Since she'll be in the cast for 6-8 weeks after that, we are going to try for April, so she can be out of the cast before the summer heat hits.  She's already so hot-natured as it is.  Oh, and if everything goes great - it will be a 3-4 day hospital stay - in DC.  Oh, that drive is so hideous!!!  It took 4 hours to get home tonight!!!

So, that's it.  Not looking forward to it, that's for sure.  But, it is months away still, and within 7-9 weeks it will all be over.  And hopefully, she'll be much "better" after.

And if you didn't see my earlier post, check it out.



Gretch said...

Interesting! Celia had both Scoliosis and Kyphosis however she has no anomalies of the actual vertebrea.
They didn't put Celia in a body cast which worried me so much because she is WILD and has a high pain tolerance and I was terrified she would writh around hurting herself and tearing things up!! Alas that didn't happen and all went well!!
If you have any questions holler at me, not that your not already an expert!!!((HUGS))

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Wow, that is a lot to swallow at one time. I am glad that you have a few months to enjoy before this surgery.

The video cracked me up. At least they were entertaining themselves while waiting! And Harlie's hair cut is absolutely fantastic!! She looks adorable. :)

B-Mama said...

All sounds like a great plan. Just keep plugging... I know you hoped for a better outcome to yesterday's appointment. But you have months to prepare and you can do this. Thanksgiving hugs.

Just Diane said...

You all go through so much but Harlie is just so dang precious. I pray that the surgery goes smoothly, the procedure is a success, and she in and out of that cast in no time. I know she will be in it for however long but I hope the time flys.

I LOVE her hair. I recently cut off all of my hair and it is so much nicer.

Up until just recently I took the babes to the ped in the double stroller. They are 3 and 4 so I decided they could behave enough to go without. I may have been wrong on that. lol

Susan said...

Christy I'm sorry to hear it needs to happen that soon. I didn't realize she had unusual vertebrae and I always thought her back looked reasonable straight, so now I see. It sounds like it won't be a full fusion all the way down her back, which I would think is better. I'm surprised about the cast though and hope that doesn't mean she'd have to be cast again later when/if they do further repairs. You know we've had a spica cast twice. The only good thing about it is that the time goes by quicker than you can think and the relief after it's over is enormous. I hadn't realized how much I was dreading the hip and femoral osteotomies. So while I'm sorry it needs to be done so soon I'm excited for it to be one more thing to put behind you. (((((HUGS)))))