I have learned so much on this journey.– Always follow your instincts. That’s just the good Lord leading the way.
– Perthes is going to do what Perthes is going to do.
– Wearing the Scottish Rite braces is the same as putting spica casts on your child, if you wear them 24/7. They do come in camoflage.
– Like with any other condition, early detection can save the hip. We had the core decompression with bone stem grafts and saved Christopher’s right hip!!!
– The External Fixator will contain the hip and possibly give you a round femoral head. I wished we had this option but it was too late for my sweet Christopher.
– The head splitting osteotomy is the last resort before a total hip replacement. It is what we are facing today. It will either be really successful or not.
– Adding Trixie to the family was the best decision we ever made. She protects Christopher at all costs.
– You cannot go through the Perthes Journey without the support of your family, friends and church family.
It’s official – Christopher’s left hip is starting to impinge. This is the worst thing that can happen to a hip besides Perthes. We visited Dr. Standard two months ago and he immediately suggested the head splitting osteotomy (head reduction osteotomy) and stated it might be more an extensive surgery depending on what he sees when he gets in there. He said he wouldn’t tell us when to do the surgery that Christopher would let him know. Since October 18th, Christopher’s left hip has become more problematic. It is giving out on him daily and he is taking Advil like tic-tacs. I’m so frustrated with this hip condition. It’s not fair to see your perfectly healthy boy go from catching a football to barely tying his shoes. I would trade places with him any day but it is not my journey. I feel like his childhood is slipping away like sand in an hourglass. Christopher’s spirits have always been positive until his best friend found out he has bone cancer in his knee/leg. They both limp on the same left side. We pray every morning and night for complete healing for both of them.
The Big D
We went to Dallas a few weeks ago to get an anthrogram of the left hip and it wasn’t good news. Christopher has a labral tear with thinning cartilage in the left hip were it is impinging. I was expecting to hear that he would need a minor surgery to laparoscopically repair the tear but instead I was told it was time for major hip surgery. However, we have been told not to perform the head splitting osteotomy for at least six months (even longer 1 – 2 years) for it to be successful. Because of the extensive damage to his cartilage, we’ll have to move forward sooner than later.
The head splitting osteotomy is a 6 – 8 hour surgery with a 12″ incision. The femoral head is connected to a blood flow device (the same as brain surgeries) so the surgeon may cut the dead bone in the middle without interfering with the blood flow, then fuse the two sides together with pins. The goal is create a nice round hip out of the knobbly bone that Christopher currently lives with. The External Fixator will be needed if the hip doesn’t stay contained. It’s three months non-weight bearing and I’m told a full year for total recovery from the surgery.
A Leg to Stand On
I immediately started contacting my Perthes family and asking how many have had this surgery and what is the success rate. Dr. Standard has performed around 50 of these surgeries; Paley has performed 60. I’m not sure about the surgeons in Dallas yet. Our local ortho performed his first head splitting about a month ago. It seems this is becoming more of the norm. A year ago, we were told that this was radical surgery. After all of our research, we know that this is the best option. We prayed, we listened and God let six orthopedic surgeons tell us the same thing; Christopher is the perfect candidate for the head splitting osteotomy. It doesn’t get clearer than that. Now, it’s time to figure out the logistics.