Varus Derotational Osteotomy (VDRO)

That is the name of Maria’s surgery. We went to her pre-op appointment and they’d forgotten to put us on the schedule–I think when the surgery was re-scheduled, she made the pre-op appt, but forgot to put it in the computer or something. We saw the nurse practitioner, who seems awesome, but not the doc. Then Friday they called us and said the doc wants to see us, so we’re going in again Monday afternoon. I hope it’s not a bad reason that he wants to see us…

They’re doing both hips at once because if they don’t, the scoliosis gets worse. The surgery takes about 4-5 hours, but that includes the prep time and post-op. She’ll be away from us for 4-5 hours. They’ll put her to sleep with gas and when she’s out, they’ll do the IVs and they’re going to put in an epideural to do the surgery, then for at least another day or two until the worst of the pain is over. They’ll turn it off, see how she’s doing, and either take it out or turn it back on–depending on her pain level. So it sounds like they’ll be on top of the pain situation–which is what I’m most concerned about. The doc’s son had the surgery when he was 12, and he said it was the worst thing he could be put through; the nurse practitioner says he’s been scaring the crap out of the parents. so I’m glad we saw the NP first. I felt much better after this appt (and, of course, Manolis felt worse. He’s not been freaking out like me, now I’m freaking less and he’s feeling it more.)

Ok, so what they’re going to do is cut the thigh bone up near the ball and insert an L-shaped piece of metal, which I think is intended to change the angle of the ball and have it fit nicely into the socket. You could really see how far displaced her left hip bone is. The right isn’t as bad, but it is a little out of whack too. The left ball (top of the bone) is already getting damaged; if it gets too damaged, they can’t do the surgery, or it won’t alleviate the pain, or something like that. In a year, we have to come back for them to remove the piece of metal — this was something I hadn’t heard before, but she said it was minor surgery, probably out-patient. She said Maria should be in the hospital for 3-4 days, depending on her pain level.

For 6 weeks, she’ll have knee immobilizers and a pillow between her legs to keep them spread apart. She’ll be able to sit or lay down, but no standing or walking. I can’t imagine she’ll be going to school her first 2 weeks (school starts 4 1/2 weeks after her surgery), but we’ll see. They’ll loan us a wheelchair that will accomodate her new position. She’ll have 2 long incisions on her hips, possibly small incisions on her inner thigh (if he has to lengthen her tendons), and possibly 2 small incisions around her ankles and little casts almost up to her knees (if he has to lengthen her Achilles tendons). OMG!!

Friday when Andy was there, he said she’d been calm since he’d been there. Immediately after I started talking about the surgery and bone cutting, she started freaking out (getting fidgety, moving her hands, getting stiff, seeming anxious). It really seems like she’s reacting to us talking about the surgery and she knows it’s coming and she knows it’s a big deal. So we’re not going to talk about it anymore in front of her.

Two more days of school. thank God! Thursday we picked her up from school to take her to a doc appt and she had a bruise right next to her eye. The teacher handed her off to us and didn’t say a word. I just don’t get them. I’m going to write them a note Monday morning about the bruise. What if it had been an inch over-it would have damaged her eyeball!

Speaking of eyeballs and optic nerves — still haven’t talked to the neurosurgeon. I left a couple more messages. I’m going to email him. We had an appt with him Friday, but it got cancelled. I tell you…..I can’t believe how pissed I am about him dissing us.

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