Well, crap. There I went again, and got my hopes all up for something that wasn't to be. Seems I do that a lot.
So, it's FOUR MORE WEEKS in the cast! And that was the worst case scenario!!! We go back on May 24th to have it removed. But, it gets better. Here's how it will go down:
We will go up and they will cut the cast down both sides ("turtle shell" it). They will remove it, and measure her for her custom made brace. She will feel the cool air and freedom. Then they will put the cast BACK ON and secure it in place. We will come back home for two or three days (time for them to make the brace). Then we will go back up to have the cast officially removed. Again, she will feel the cool air and freedom. Then they will put on her brace. She will wear it during her waking hours for the next several months. Yay us!
I didn't ask, but I'm assuming the brace will allow her to bend at the waist. Which will be a very welcome change!!! I think she'll still be happy and relieved to have the cast gone as long as she can bend at the waist again.
As far as how she is doing... her surgeon said that she is happy with how her x-rays looked today. Here they are:
|Before surgery: note how her hips are so uneven.|
And here they are side by side, which I think really shows the difference.
Wowza! All of her crookedness was between her ribs and her hips. In the Before photo, it looks like her spine is coming straight from her right hip! It is pretty exciting to think about how she's going to look after this is all said and done. It will be a welcome change to be able to actually see a positive change after a surgery. And I bet it will feel really good to her!
|Side view of the screws|
A close up of the two bottom areas that were abnormal:
Also, the reason why there is only one set of screws when she had two different areas fused is because the fusion in the upper area (butterfly vertebra) was done by modifying (shaving and cutting) the existing vertebrae and using bone grafts that will eventually heal and fuse together over time - without the need for screws. She said that this will hopefully save some of her growth plates in that area, whereas the screws eliminate the growth plates in that area forever.
No new cast today, either. A new cast would require OR time and anesthesia, and it's just not worth it. So, they used the cast saw to cut away some areas of the cast that were particularly bothersome and/or dirty. In the back, all the padding and soft border covering came off. So, he did his best to make it better and more comfortable for her.
She was not a happy camper. And Brandy got a work out trying to hold her still. Gabe did the best he could, but she was far from cooperative!!! Harlie, not Brandy, I mean. Brandy was very helpful and cooperative, as usual.
He also removed the gauze covering over her incision. It was truly disgusting and a breeding ground for bacteria!!! But, surprisingly the incision looked really neat and clean (meaning the cut) with no stitches that you could see. She said the stitches were put underneath. Crazy. It was a relief to see that there is no infection.
So, that's that. Four more weeks. And three days.