"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It Sucks

Well friends, we went to the orthopedic surgeon to look at Rissa's hips again today. It looks as though surgery to correct the dysplasia in her left hip is on the horizon for next Spring. As I have blogged about before, she has Developmental Hip Dysplasia. If you look at the four bullet points where the risk factors are listed, she fits all four. The cards are stacked against her. Incredible!

There is a possibility that she won't need surgery. The doc explained to me that kid's bones, up to the age of four, are still developing, are pliable and moldable, and have the potential to form further. Marissa's left hip socket does not form a complete cup, thus allowing her hip to pop out of place. Up until the age of four, she had the potential to still form the socket properly. She is now almost four and a half. However, the doctor says her bone development seems to be delayed by six months to a year because both her hip sockets have developed even more in the last six months since we saw her last. The doctor wants to give her another six months or so, to see if she can develop the left socket more completely. Finally, one of Rissa's delays works in our favor! The doc said it is possible for her socket to form enough to avoid surgery, but pretty unlikely because of how open her socket is right now. So we really have to prepare our hearts and minds for an intense surgery in the Spring.

The surgery performed would be a Pemberton's Acetabuloplasty. Mouthful, I know. As simply as I can put it, the doc would take a piece of bone from another area of Rissa's hip and use it to construct a more complete socket. If that weren't grueling enough for her to get through, she would need a gnarly spica cast for at least six weeks. Holy $***!

We are going to see the doc again in February to determine the final word on if she needs the surgery or not. Because of Rissa's awesome Summer experience for the first time in her life this year (which I promise to blog about soon with a lot of pictures), I did not want her to have the surgery at the beginning of the Summer, when school lets out, only to be stuck in a body cast for the majority of Summer. So, if she needs the surgery, we will schedule it for sometime in March, after her birthday. We will take her out of school for the year at that time, which is OK by us, since it is only preschool. That way, she should be fully healed and ready for a fun Summer.

I hate having to think about this, but I know in the end, if she does need the surgery, it will serve in her best interest for the rest of her life. My mom had a hip replacement several years ago in her fifties and it turns out, she had Developmental Hip Dysplasia. It was also in her left hip, just like Rissa. For several years, I have had pain in my left hip, and my sisters have as well. So, this obviously runs in the family, and if we had all known about it when we were younger, we wouldn't be having the problems we are now as adults. At least we can allow Marissa to have the best chance at not having these problems when she grows up.

But, it still sucks.