Hi everyone! A little update on Emma and it’s about her hips.

When she was almost 2 she was diagnosed with developmental hip dysplasia. Basically her left hip was not in the hip socket right and would click sometimes. So we saw a bone and joint clinic, who told me that she needed a spica cast for 9 weeks!! I was so sad! She was army crawling and getting from laying to sitting on her own and a cast that went from her g-tube down to her feet, was going to delay her! I did some research and discovered that these things are best taken care of early, so we went ahead and on Halloween 2008, she got her spica cast. But before they brought her back for the procedure, she pulled herself to stand for the first time! It was purple…. and horrible! She hated it and even smacked me a couple times in the face in the recovery room. But… she got used to it and soon could even roll over and army crawl in it!

Diaper changes were annoying! There was an opening in the cast at the diaper area and we had to tuck a (small) diaper into the cast and then put a bigger one over it to hold it in place. Sometimes, her diaper would get full at night (even though we changed her before we went to bed) and then it would leak and so the cast got pretty stinky. They changed it after 6 weeks, but it was stinky again by the time she got it of on New Year’s Eve 2008!

Her legs were pretty weak for a few weeks, but soon she gained strength and was starting to crawl on her hands and knees and cruise around the furniture! So exciting!!! And then we found out, her hip was still not looking that great, and she was going to need surgery to put a metal plate in her femur in order to get the hip into the socket. So…. early Oct. 2009, she had surgery and was put in a cast again, but this time only for 3 weeks. WAY better than the 9, but still not fun.

When the cast was taken off she recovered pretty quickly, her legs were not as weak this time around since she didn’t have to wear it for as long and she was able to stand (with assistance) in her cast and that kept her muscles stronger too! The metal plate was temporary and was supposed to be removed after a year.
She took her first independent steps right before she turned 3 and only about 6 or 7 weeks after the cast came off. After six months, she was still only taking a few steps at a time by herself and then would sit. When we saw her PT at the end of April 2010, she suggested that we put a wedge in her left shoe, since her left leg was about a half inch shorter than her right, due to the surgery. Only a couple weeks after having the wedge in her shoe, she started taking more and more steps and soon was walking pretty much anywhere! We were (and still are) so happy about that!!! 🙂

Then, last August, she went back to the bone and joint clinic to take a look at her hip and schedule her surgery to have the metal plate removed. Her dr said that her hip didn’t look perfect, but much better than before and with her walking on it, he was happy, so the plan was to have the plate removed in Sept or Oct. BUT our insurance had changed and the state insurance kept denying surgery! Which has been so frustrating! In fact about a week and a half ago, we got another denial notice in the mail. But last week, the bone and joint clinic called to let me know that insurance had finally approved it (praise God!) and so she is scheduled for surgery this Thursday. (March 17). I am looking forward to having this surgery behind us, so she can continue to grow and develop and thrive!

I’m not sure if she will need a cast this time around or not. Her bone will be a little weak where the screws were, so I’m hoping that she will take it easy! We’ll see… she’s a pretty busy girl! Luckily she has 2 weeks off for spring break to recover! I’m hoping that’s enough time and that we can keep her mellow in the days following surgery, so her bone can grow and strengthen!

Wow, this was a longer post than I was anticipating. I will try to find some pics of her in her spica cast to post later.

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3 Responses to Hip Surgery

  1. taylorbug says:

    Shannon, It sounds like Emma is a very strong little girl and has a very caring and loving mom. I pray her surgery goes well. It has been so nice talking to you about Emma and Taylor. Even though we are states away, I feel like I have someone to walk this journey with that understands. You have a beautiful family and from your photos it looks like you have a great time with lots of fun!

  2. One thing I’ve learned to accept these past 8 years from my daughter, no matter what nothing can hold her down. As you have shared about Emma nothing will hold her down. May God continue to Bless you all tomorrow through her surgery.

  3. Kelly Rasmusson says:

    Hello! I just came across your post…our daughter, Bethany, who has wolf hirschhorn and is 5 may need hip surgery and a spica cast. I’m a bit overwhelmed and wondered if it would be possible for me to talk to you either via email or phone sometime? My email is kelly.rasmusson0710@gmail.com
    Thank you!!

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