It seems like every time we have an appointment with the orthopaedic doctor, we leave more confused than we were going in. It’s like listening to the intricacies of how a Hemi engine is built when he describes the anatomy of Drew’s legs. I did learn that instead of flattish surfaces at the ends of his bones meeting at his knees, Drew’s ends are rounded so they are acting like ball-and-socket joints.
Though we’ve been told over and over, it seemed to paint a better picture when our doctor explained that though the rotation and contractures are routine procedures it’s the “big picture” that complicates the issue. First, he has such a complicated combination of issues so it’s difficult to determine what to address first. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
Which begs a new question: if the procedures are so routine, then why the fear-mongering regarding the worst-case scenario of a failed surgery that results in continued inability to walk and removed flexibility to adapt with his legs? Unfortunately, this was a revelation that occurred to me only this morning.
Second and most repeated, Drew requires his current anatomical features to do what he does with his legs in place of his arms. And, it absolutely pains me to say it, but lately it has become more and more evident to me that Drew may be using his legs more often to aid his hands that I like to admit. Though I’m not sure if I’m acutely aware of this because of the added pressure of whether to do the surgery or not or if perhaps he’s consciously using his legs more often now as he develops or some other reason.
Also, a new point that we must worry about: Drew may instantly reverse any corrections we make surgically because he’s quite content using his legs like he does, that’s what he knows and what he’s comfortable with. So, just in case we didn’t have enough to worry about, we have that extra little tidbit there. Thanks.
All in all, our next course of action is to visit St. Louis for another opinion from our doctor’s colleague. So, we should be making arrangements soon. And, a TAR Support group I frequent highly recommends a doctor out of Florida who has treated many TAR cases. He may be able to provide insight into the delicate balance between corrective surgery and adaptability as well as how to prevent undoing any procedures. So, who knows, maybe we’ll be making plans to go there. And, he resides in West Palm Beach. Can we say VACATION!!!!