Monday, February 15, 2010

Leg Surgery

We met with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss our options regarding Joshy's stiffness, particularly in his legs, which has been of increasing concern since around October last year.

I was very happy with the doctor we saw, not only because of his thoroughness, but also how proactive he was when we met.  In a collaborative effort, what started out as a simple meeting, ended with a pre-preadmission clinic for anesthetic for leg surgery (that is, we saw an anesthetist who determined whether Josh would be able to withstand being anesthetised for the duration of the 2-3 hour operation. We will see that doctor again just prior to surgery).

Use of botox was also discussed, however it was decided that releasing certain muscles and tendons would provide the best outcome.  It all sounds rather gruesome, and I was handed a tissue when it was explained what needed to be done.  An incision is made on the side of each knee, and on the underside of each thigh. (Medical terminology is "bilateral releases of the gluteus maximus, quadriceps releases +/- capsulotomy of the hip adductor releases). The surgery will enable Joshy's legs to bend, however it apparently does not guarantee that his legs will always be able to bend, even with continual exercise and knee bending.  In addition is the risk of anesthetic which can compromise his breathing during surgery, and the biggest is infection such as pneumonia, afterward.  I am in constant fear of Josh dislocating is knees, or someone knocking his feet and subsequently breaking something whenever he is in his wheelchair (such as at school for example).

We meet with the orthopedic doctor again in a few weeks and let him know of our decision.

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