So since Aleck was born, oh so long ago, he’s already seen 4 different pediatric orthopedists. The first one was while we were in the hospital and this guy rubbed us the wrong way from the start. Though, like most of the doctor’s we met in the hospital he was a huge fan of giving us the worse case scenario. Which can really wreak havoc on a person’s psyche when you get 4 days worth of bad news during the first 4 days of your baby’s life. He met us in the NICU, threw a ton of information at us about what we can and can’t do to help Aleck’s condition, including the idea that maybe he’d pop the 2nd hip completely out of socket as well so Aleck would have both hips out. I asked if he’d be able to walk normally like that, and he said no, but if we put them back in he might have stiffness. Then he put Aleck in this harness, The Pavlik Harness, to help guide his hips back into place. It was one size too small so it couldn’t fasten all the way but he thought it was better than nothing and they were going to work on getting us one the right size.
Well, I could barely put a diaper on correctly, now we’ve got to weave this diaper through this harness which just looked so pathetic on Aleck. Once the correct one came in a lovely Physical Therapist put it on him but she wasn’t sure if her adjustments were correct so the same Ortho was going to come back to double check before we checked out of the hospital. He didn’t seem to know if the harness was on perfectly himself which really instilled a lot of confidence in us. Thankfully our pediatrician and our good friend who is also a pediatric ortho recommended the same practice through the RIC which is who we are with right now (he also recommended to remove the harness since we weren’t going to stay with that doctor who gave it to us and see what our new practice had to say about it. They didn’t think the harness would do Aleck any good with his particular condition).
The first step in all of this is to fix the club foot. Every doctor we’ve met agrees on how to get this done, the Ponseti way, which includes a series of casting the foot, each one inching it closer to its proper place, followed by splinting and potential tendon cutting. This is seemingly a very straightforward process and hopefully the easiest of the processes we are going to go through. On Tuesday Aleck will have his first casting so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully he won’t be too uncomfortable, our doctors assured us it doesn’t cause a lot of pain for the baby but he can be fussy during the first round as he’s getting used to it. If you’ve met Aleck and seen this little club foot (or his special fin as my sister likes to call it), it’s actually a super cute little foot.
Before the casting Aleck is going to have his first ultrasound to see exactly where his hips are. According to our friend the hip surgery is a controversial one with babies with Arthogryposis. If it’s done it’ll be done at about 6 months of age and there is a chance that his muscles and joints won’t take to the surgery and they’ll go back to how they were originally. So the question is this; is it worth it to have this surgery knowing it might not work? Will it do any damage to his body to go ahead with the surgery if it doesn’t work? But if it works, are we increasing the chances that he’ll be able to walk without assistance? This is going to be a big hurdle and the outcome of this ultrasound might shed some light on which direction we should go in. I’m leaning towards going ahead with the surgery, but I want everyone on the same page, so I’m ready to listen to all the arguments and ask all the questions once we get the results of the ultrasound in.
Lastly, on Tuesday, Aleck is getting fitted with splints for his hands and wrists along with meeting another Pediatric Orthopedist from our practice. It’s going to be a very long day and I know I’m pretty nervous about all of this already and its only Sunday night. I don’t think Craig and I are going to get much sleep in the next few days.