We spent 4 hours at the hospital Monday for Anthony’s pre-operative testing. On Monday October 2, Anthony will have his spinal fusion surgery to correct his scoliosis. They had trouble getting blood and were not able to get enough to do all the tests they wanted. They said they will put in a central line in the OR, since his veins are so bad. They said he will probably be on a vent post-op too, due to his base-line condition and swelling from the surgery. The surgery will take 8-10 hours and he will be face down most of the time. He was catheterized for a urine specimen (he did not like that!), had a chest x-ray, met with anesthesia, etc., etc. Rough day, but Anthony sailed right through. He has no idea what’s coming…
A bit about scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the back. Kids with cerebral palsy have a high incidence of scoliosis which often becomes severe as Anthony’s has. This can lead to sitting and positioning problems for kids who are wheelchair dependent, and ultimately leads to respiratory and cardiac problems. Anthony has a 70% curve and will be fused from T-3 (3rd thoracic vertebra) down to his sacrum. A spinal fusion is a “welding” process by which the vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts and hardware (screws and metal rods) are used to hold the back in place so that it heals like a single solid bone. I hope to get before and after photos of Anthony’s spine.
Here’s a diagram of the back so that you can see this surgery will cover most of his back, very big incision and the possibility of lots of complications. But Anthony is a strong boy and we are hoping for a successful surgery and smooth recovery period. He will be in the hospital 1 – 2 weeks, and will be in the ICU after surgery and will stay in the unit as long as he needs to be there. He will be out of school for 6 – 8 weeks, and will take 6 months to a year for a full recovery. But in the long run, this procedure should greatly improve his quality of life.
Please give Anthony a big hug from us. I will keep him in our thoughts through all of this. Please let me know if there is anything he needs.
Cindy, I will definitely have you and Anthony in my thoughts and prayers on Monday. As you know … I know exactly what lies ahead. I hope things go smoothly for Anthony and that he surprises you with a quick and relatively pain-free recovery. Hopefully, he hasn’t been talking with Jack 🙂
Thank you Ann! True, you are one of the few people who knows what’s to come, even more than I do… You’ve been there, done that! One big advantage we have is that the hospital is only about 10 miles away from home. Anthony is a strong boy and we are hoping from the best possible outcome.
Just thought I’d leave a little message for my boy. Hoping everything will go well. I told him Friday that there was to be no monkey business. He was to get done, and get back to school as soon as possible. (LOL)He will be missed greatly while hes out. Hopefully we will be able to visit him soon! Give him a great big kiss and hug from all of us at school!! If theres anything that we can do just give us a call.
Thanks for the message Cheryl:-)
I’ve been thinking about you all day, Anthony. You’re such a good boy. Hope everything goes well for you—sounds like a long haul. Thanks to Mom for explaining the surgery. We’ll be checking the blog for updates. Love, Aunt Faye
You look great Anthony. I’ll be awaiting the first picture of your beautiful smile. Love you lots & lots. Aunt Faye
Dear Mary, Thanks for visiting. I’d say give him 3 months before he starts to get back to baseline. This is a big surgery and it takes a full year to completely heal.
Was he good over hte surgry.