Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You want to do WHAT to my baby?

It looks like Quinn might need surgery. He got a clean bill of health from the neurologist, but the orthopaedic surgeon she referred him to thinks Quinn may need to go under the knife. His brachial plexus injury has taken away one critical movement: put your right arm in front of you, with your upper arm against your body, like you're in a quick-draw contest. Point our hand straight out, and then rotate your forearm away from your body. That's what he can't do. There are two muscles that help you do that, but five that help you rotate inward. So what they do is take two muscles from the inward rotation and move them to help with the outward rotation.

He'll begin pretty extensive physical therapy soon and then be evaluated again in a few weeks. If they determine the surgery is necessary, it likely would be done when he's 2, which would put it next June or later. The surgery itself takes three hours and is fairly complex, but honestly, it's the recovery that scares me: A MONTH in an upper-body cast that immobilizes his right arm like he's swearing to tell the truth in court. A MONTH.

I've heard that little patients are quite resilient and that Quinn will probably do just fine during recovery. But it sounds awful to me.

Has anyone gone through anything like this? Any thoughts on kids and surgery?


Mell said...

Sophie had her first surgery on Oct 9th. They actually did surgery on her in China too, but it really didn't work. Anyways, she had muscle release surgery in Oct and is doing great. She will have surgery on her forearm in Feb or March and then possibly one more at age 5 or 6 on the wrist area. She also goes to pt twice a week. Her surgeon is Dr. Raul Nath in Houston. He is amazing and specializes in brachial plexus! I look forward to hearing how everything goes. Sophie only had to wear her big brace while she slept, but it's different with everyone. She bounced back SO fast!!
Good luck!

kyburg said...

Second opinions always useful - don't hesitate to get one.

Jill said...

I'll definitely get a second opinion - thanks for the reminder! Melanie, is muscle release surgery the same one Quinn may have, to allow her exterior rotation from her elbow? If so, I'd love to know more about how she's doing. They told me the surgery would not give Quinn full use of the shoulder but would be a marked improvement. What did you see with Sophie? Thanks!!

Mell said...

Go to :

Dr. Nath's website is a wealth of information and I learned so much after reading his site. I would also suggest you get a second opinion before making a decision about surgery. There are different degrees of brachial plexus and much will depend on the extent of Quinn's individual injury.

If you want to email me, my address is melgcurry@gmail.com

:) Melanie