Photos of Anthony before and after his spinal fusion.
Here is Anthony in the new lift, getting ready for school. He’s not too happy having to get up early.
Today was Anthony’s first day back to school following his big surgery. I drove him in to be sure he would tolerate the ride and we stayed for a couple of hours. The staff was so happy to see him and you could tell Anthony was happy to be back too!
Here’s a photo of Anthony with his P.T.
He will go on the van for a full day tomorrow, then he’ll be off again until next Monday because of the holiday weekend.
Anthony had his follow-up appointment with his surgeon yesterday. The only problems we’ve had are with his digestive system, both ends… But nothing we can’t manage. She did an x-ray of his spine and was very please with the correction she got. “20%, that’s my personal best”, she said! How awesome is that?:-)
Here is the new x-ray:
His incision looks great too, all healed:
She said that technically it takes a full year for the spine to be totally healed. The bones are quite “squishy” now, so we have to be careful moving Anthony and we have to be sure to keep his spine straight and not bend his hips more than 90 degrees. She said we should be safe after 3 months, even better after 6 months. Loooonnnngggg recovery time! He can go back to school on November 20th. She did ask if we wanted a body jacket for school, but I thought it would be tougher handling him with a body jacket.
Here is a photo of Anthony and his surgeon Dr. Shelton:
Anthony continues to make wonderful progress! He no longer needs any pain medication and his incision is pretty much healed. One interesting problem that has come up, his reflux is much worse after the surgery. I assume this is because his posture is so different now or maybe his fundoplication loosened a bit. Fundoplication is a surgery he had years ago to prevent reflux.
Fundoplication: the part of the stomach that is closest to the entry of the esophagus (the fundus of the stomach) is gathered, wrapped, and sutured around the lower end of the esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter. (The gathering and suturing of one tissue to another is called plication.) This procedure increases the pressure at the lower end of the esophagus and reduces acid reflux.
The surgeon said this problem is common after a spinal fusion. I will ask her more about it when Anthony has his follow-up appointment on November 2nd. In the meantime, he has been started on Zantac twice a day.
Yesterday, a bunch of Anthony’s teachers came to visit him! Anthony was so happy to see them all!
Anthony is so happy to be home! I talked to his surgeon today, he does not have to be seen again until next month. His sutures are subcutaneous, so they don’t need to be removed and the steristrips that you see on his back will just fall off (some have already). No school or therapy until at least after his follow-up appointment on November 2nd. So, time to rest and heal.