Sunday, 25 September 2016

Paige's hip dysplasia {part 8} - checkups and going to part-time rhino brace!!

4 months after Paige's initial surgery we had another checkup appointment at the Womens and Children's hospital.

First up Paige needed an X-ray so the surgeons could check;

  • the hip joint was still in place
  • how Paige's pelvis was healing after the pelvic osteotomy she had (in which they had to cut all the way through the pelvis on her left side and angle it down to create a new hip socket for the hip joint to stay in place)
  • that the hip joint being in place was stimulating the hip socket to grow
  • the femoral head was growing as a result of being in the hip socket

Paige did so well during the X-ray, she'd had a few by now so was used to what was going on.  The radiographer had to take X-rays of her hips out wide (how they were being held while in the spica cast and rhino brace) and then with her legs side by side and straight down - this was a huge task as for the last 4 months her legs had been so far apart!  It took a while to get the legs side by side but the radiographer and I eventually got them close enough together so that they could get the X-ray they needed.

We then headed back to the orthopaedic clinic and waited for the doctor to come see us, it was another doctor we hadn't seen before (we were public patients at the Women's and Children's Hospital so it was pot luck who we would see!)  He bought the X-ray up on the screen and I was so anxious to see it as I hadn't seen any X-rays since Paige's initial diagnosis.  When I saw the X-ray I was relieved as I could instantly see a difference from the X-rays taken before Paige's surgeries.  The doctor was happy with how Paige was progressing, the hip was definitely still in place and had a very low risk of becoming dislocated again, the pelvis had healed nicely, and the femoral head was growing well.  All fantastic outcomes and the best results we could hope for at this stage, we were all stoked!!  We were told that Paige only needed to wear the rhino brace at night time only for another 4 weeks, so it was time to get those legs out and about and building up the muscles again!

After we got the good news!!

We didn't get copies of the X-rays as they are done digitally in-house at the hospital but I do have a photo of the X-ray taken the day Paige had her second surgery to remove the pins (femoral K wires) from her hip, and this was around 2 months after the initial surgery.  If you look closely on the right hand side you can see the cut through the pelvis and how the bones have already healed, and you can see how the pelvis has been angled down to create a socket to keep the hip joint in place.

Paige's X-ray the day of her second surgery after the pins were removed

Whilst at the hospital we were also waiting on results of a blood test Paige had to have done as the wound from her second surgery hadn't healed fully and she developed an infection.  We had a swab test which came back as staphylococcus aureus, most commonly known as Staph.  Paige was put on antibiotics straight away but our GP also wanted a blood test to make sure the infection hadn't gone into her blood stream and that it wasn't going to have any bearing on her bones healing properly after the surgeries.  The blood test results came back all good which was a massive relief!

It's a whole other story and I really should write a blog post about it but it had been a bit of an ordeal with Paige's wound not healing properly.  It started off with a visit to the Emergency department the night the wound started weeping, followed by several GP visits almost daily for over a week so we could get the wound redressed to enable it to try and heal properly, and then after 1.5 weeks it still wasn't healing so we got the swab test done.  After the swab test results came back the GP was trying to contact the surgeons at the hospital as she thought we might need to go back there and that was another stressful day!  The GP and surgeons both decided to continue to redress the wound every day get a blood test done - which was another massive challenge for poor Paige - it seemed she just couldn't catch a break!  But I bribed Paige with a kinder surprise egg after the blood test and she did so well.  So at the hospital a few days later with both the blood results and X-ray's having positive outcomes we were extremely happy!

To celebrate we got the kids happy meals (we had tofu vietnamese rolls yum!) and went to a playground on the way home!  The weather wasn't very good so we were only out for a little bit but it was so nice having both kids out and about and Paige looking "normal" again!  She did a little bit of climbing on the playground and was so happy to not have to wear her brace!

Paige STANDING!! Wooooooo
Waiting for the blood test (me looking super tired - I barely slept the night before as I was stressing about it!!)
Just after the blood test - she did so well!