Saturday, May 30, 2009

Trying to prevent surgery

We're closing in on decision time for Quinn's possible surgery to correct his brachial plexus injury. We're working with a new physical therapist who had an interesting idea to try to immobilize Quinn's good arm to force him to use his injured arm. Her thinking is that either he would start using the injured arm and we'd see he's making progress or we'd see pretty quickly that he couldn't use it and he needed the surgery.

So we tried it. Marge the PT warned us that kids typically get quite angry and sometimes hysterical when the temporary cast goes on, but then adapt. I was very nervous about Quinn, home just seven months and just now totally trusting us, feeling we had betrayed him.

Here's what happened: The PT put on the cast, which prevented Quin from bending his arm. He looked at it the cast briefly and then the little stinker went right back to the game he had been playing by backing up from the coffee table and using his fully extended, immobilized arm with absolutely no problem. Um, so much for that!

We discussed also putting a mitt on his hand, but the PT said he's using his two hands so well together - which is a new thing for him - that she doesn't want to take a step backward in that regard.

So in short, it didn't work!!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

My daughter has a different issue, but every time we immobilize she does the same thing. It works if they start using the hands together, our daughter tends to forget her left arm exists. I have a little girl in my Brownie troop with the same thing, and her left arm looks more natural than my daughter's, but there are still some things she needs help with. The kids adapt, and sometimes cheat, but we're always impressed with what our daughter can do.