Posted by: craig and melissa | January 4, 2015

When I Hip, You Hip, We Hip

From C:

Wow, it’s been almost two years since the last entry in this blog.  Far too long.  Sorry about that. :/

I’m not sure how many are still subscribed to this sucker, but, Melissa and I felt it was important to update with a bit of news.

Connor will be having surgery on Monday morning (yes, that’s just mere hours away) over at Gillette’s Hospital in St. Paul.  He’ll be there for the next few days, maybe until Friday, recovering from orthopedic surgery on his left leg and hip.

For a bit of context, let’s rewind the clock back to late April of 2013.  Connor went in for surgery on his left hip and leg.  From xrays, his ortho doc could see that his hip and femur were not forming a very good “ball & socket.”  That spelled trouble for Connor’s future as he continued to grow and, what is currently mostly cartilage harden into bone.

The procedure was a brutal one – the doc bent the hip to form a more pronounced curve, and he broke Connor’s femur close to the hip and bent his in that part of the leg so that the angle was at a more preferred angle to the hip socket – this also would make his left leg a little shorter than his right (DOH!).  A plate was screwed to his leg to set the bone while he recovered and grew.  The surgery was a success and imaging showed that things looked good post op.

CB spent the next six weeks in a spica cast while he healed.  Imagine your legs being frozen in a frog position for the next six weeks.  Then try and imagine getting around.  Yeah, that’s not going to work out too incredibly well, is it?  We had to change carseats to accommodate the big cast.  Connor couldn’t sit in a regular chair.  He couldn’t sit up, he couldn’t really fully recline either.  Everything about his daily life was modified.

Melissa and I used combinations of bean bag chairs, kiddy recliners, an extra spica cast car seat sat on the floor that acted as his place to eat meals, a four wheel scooter for Connor to lay on in order to use his arms to get around.  Whatever worked, no how obscure, we used.  Connor, as usual, was a tough guy and good sport about most of what needed to be done.  That’s not to say the days did not come without a very frustrated and cranky three year old… and cranky 33 year olds for that matter.

Eventually, after a full 5 weeks, the cast came off.  The plate could stay in him for up to three years.  Physical therapy would be needed to get those leg muscles strong again.  We thought the hard part was behind us.

Fast forward to this past fall when Connor met with his new orthopedic surgeon for the first time since moving to Minneapolis.  All his past records and imaging were sent over to the new doc. She compared old x-rays to the ones they just took down the hallway during his first visit.  Concern grew.  She also wasn’t too pleased with how his left foot (the once clubbed foot) felt when moving it around.

Turns out his left leg, while growing beyond the influence of the plate, began to straighten itself out again.  The lovely angle formed during the surgery was no longer optimal.  This was a problem.  The doc wanted to be absolutely certain, so in December, we took Connor in for an arthrogram – a procedure where they inject contrast dye into an area to see tissue, etc. in an x-ray.  The results of that imaging confirmed her concerns for Connor’s hip.  Also, while peacefully under the influence of anesthesia, she tested his clubbed foot again and strongly felt that it had tightened up and would need an achilles lengthening (something that was done before too).

A surgery was scheduled, and here we are.  So what to expect:

– The original plate will be removed.

– The doc needs to break his leg again (ouch) and bend it to the preferred angle.  New plate.  This will also make his leg a bit shorter still than from the last procedure.

– His achilles tendon will be lengthened to help out the tightness in his left foot and ensure that a clubbed foot does not return.

– Wild card: the doc is also interested at looking at an extra bit of cartilage that is extended off of his left hip.  If it looks to be no problem with what is going on, then she’ll leave it be.  If it seems like it’s causing issues, she needs to remove it.

That wild card is actually fairly significant because if she does nothing to it, all is well, and CB will only be in that cast for 6 weeks.  If she does any modifications to the hip, then CB’s casting will encompass BOTH legs all the way to his heels, and he could then be in the cast past 6 weeks and up to 12.  TWELVE. WEEKS.

That last little bit does not sit well with us.  Six weeks get Connor out of the cast and into physical therapy a couple weeks before the baby is slated to be born (oh yeah, we’re currently 30 weeks pregnant!).  12 weeks in a cast will have him in that dang cast until almost April.  April….. and well… you can surmise what that all could mean.

We’re not extremely concerned about this surgery.  Small change to what he’s been through in comparison.  But, we aren’t excited about having to lug a 30+ lbs toddler (w/spica cast weight on top of that) around for the next 6-12 weeks either.  Weeeeeeee!  Surgery is slated for 7:30 Monday morning.

Well, as always, your continued prayer for this little guy are always welcomed.  We will update here to keep everyone posted with how things go, and how life is going in a spica cast – rough I’m sure.

Thank you all for the light and love you give us.

Blessings to you all.



  1. Prayers sent up. Wishing the best for your little guy. Carol Messner

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