Thursday, January 5, 2012

Noah's 5th Surgery-The Big One

Originally posted October 23, 2008

On October 1st Noah had another surgery on his leg. This was the big one we've been hearing about and waiting for since he was a baby, the leg lengthening surgery. Because of the curve in the tibia bone in his right leg, that leg is about two to two and a half inches shorter than his left leg. As was to be expected Noah was not too happy to find out he was going to be having another surgery, but we let him know about it well in advance to prepare him for it this time since he's getting older now and can better understand what's happening to him. The surgery went well and Noah spent 3 days in the hospital this time. He came home with his leg all wrapped up, so for a few days we couldn't see what they had done to his leg and neither could he. When we went back down to MUSC the following week they removed the bandages around his leg and taught us what we needed to do to his leg everyday. He has four pins going into his leg, a pin going into the top of his foot, and a pin coming out of the bottom of his foot. The bone in his leg has been cut and we make four turns a day to spread the bone apart a millimeter each day so that new bone can grow and lengthen his leg. We also have to do thorough cleanings twice a day to make sure his leg does not get infected. He has tolerated the turnings pretty well, but the cleanings did not go very well in the beginning. It was very scary and painful for him. He was also in a lot of pain those first couple of weeks everytime his pain medicine started to wear off. After a couple of weeks though it started getting better. His leg has started healing, his pain has become less over time, and he's gotten used to the cleanings now and even likes to help with them.

Not too happy after his surgery.

Not feeling too well.

Enjoying the games in the big playroom at the hospital.

Practicing getting around with his walker.

Happy to be resting at home and not in the hospital anymore.

Noah's leg after the bandages came off.

The day after the bandages came off and after a couple of cleanings.

A view from the bottom of his foot.

After a few more days of cleanings. It's looking better every day.

Finally starting to feel like himself again.

Posing with his leg. It's healed nicely, and he isn't in much pain at all any more.

With three weeks passed since his surgery Noah has done very well. His leg has healed nicely, it's not bleeding anymore like it was in the beginning, his pain is nearly gone, and he's hopping all over the house like nothing's wrong. His doctor has been very pleased at the progress he's made, he's been surprised even. Noah's leg has grown about an inch now, and he still has a few weeks left of the lenthening process.

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