Our beautiful daughter Sophie entered the world on the 12th may 2011 weighing 7 pounds exactly. From birth I knew there was something wrong! I requested to have a specialist pediatrician to come and see her. The Doctor did not pick up anything!. I was still not happy so at 6 weeks I made an appointment with another pediatrician who I had worked with during my nursing agency days. He took one look at her hip, tested for hip Dysplasia ….and I remember this like it was yesterday…Chris turned to look at me and said “Sorry sweetie I think she has dysplasia of her (L) hip”. Within 24 hours we were at orthopedic specialist rooms getting Sophie Looked at. After scans, and an x-ray Professor Cundy advised what was my our worst fear. Sophie had Hip Dysplasia.
The surgeon referred us to a private physiotherapist and a Dennis -Browne splint was put on her. I horrified at the almost 180 degree angle her legs were in — it broke my heart. It was as if someone had ripped my baby away from me. I wasnt allowed to bath her, hold her the way I wanted to. At 10 weeks of age Sophie’s hip came out and she was was then booked for surgery – a Tenonomy (where they nick the tendon to release it). She was then placed in the Dennis Browne splint again. This did not work and her hip came out again. At the same time I lost my brother – who died while scuba diving , so to say it was a stressful time is an understatement!. At 14 weeks she was booked to have another Tenonomy, and then a hip spica was applied.
Sophie had her hip Spica on for 24 weeks. At approximately 9 months she had her cast removed and then went into a rhino cruiser for night and day for close to 12 months. Treatment seemed to be working and we as her parents sighed with relief. She started walking when she was 2 – a very happy and emotional time for her parents. It was a milestone we longed to experience.
We thought the nightmare was over, and then in November 2013 I noticed Sophie was walking with a limp. I made an urgent appointment for Sophie to see her surgeon. After more x-rays- he confirmed our worst fear. Sophie’s hip had come out again and he told us she needed an innominate salter osteotomy – a more invasive surgical approach. I cried all the way back to the car. The thought of my beautiful 2 year old girl having to have this was devastating for me. Sophie was booked to have this procedure on the 19th of feb 2014.
I struggled with allowing the surgeon to operate again. I started looking at the statistics of these surgeries and found out as much as I could. The more I looked into it, the more I realized I had to allow her to have the surgery. If I didnt she could / would end up with an arthritic hip. If I did she could end up being cured. We had to try this surgical approach.
Sophie had her surgery on the 12th of February this year as planned. The hardest thing I have ever done was to walk her into the OR for the surgery knowing that she will not be able to walk or move the way she could before. Being 2 we could not explain it to her in detail. She was non-the-wiser. She came out of surgery a real trooper — and she has coped better than her parents!
Sophie is now almost 6 weeks post op and she will be having her cast removed next week. We are relieved she will have some freedom back and be able to move a little more. She is booked in to have the wires removed on the 30/4. Which will be her 4th procedure on her hip.
Sophie is my little hero – she has been so tough through all of this. She really should be given a bravery medal. We only hope that this surgery is successful and Sophie who has not had a great start to life can look forward to a fun childhood.
To those that are going through this, you are not alone.