Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bye Bye Cast and other Updates

Yesterday Mason got his cast off!  Hip, hip, hooray!  It was a long 6 weeks. Mason's leg and foot are still dealing with swelling.  It is understandable when you realize just how much was cut in his leg.

The surgery was really deep and he was cut pretty much from one side of the ankle bone around the back of the leg (down to the bone) to the other side of the ankle bone.

He is healing well but has a ways to go.

He did come home with some temporary equipment.  For the next 4 weeks Mason will wear this walking brace to keep his foot in the proper position while swelling continues to go down. Hopefully in 4 weeks swelling will be gone and we can have new AFOs made. 

The perks to this temporary brace: velcro! We can take the brace off for baths, for playing in mud, etc. The goal is to wear it more in 24 hours each day than he has it off. He is also freed to crawl around because if the brace snags on something and his leg slips out of position we can simply unfasten the velcro and adjust it, unlike a cast.  Mason has taken advantage of that to play on the floor more.

He loved his bath yesterday and I suspect he's going to ask for a bath every single day for a while. 

One thing we were not sure about was how much strength Mason would lose from not being allowed to crawl or climb for 6 weeks.  The last time he had casts long term like this he was unable to climb up into his wheelchair or climb the stairs when the casts came off.  This time around he's done much better.  He has already shown us he can climb into and out of his wheelchair from the floor on his own.  He hasn't attempted climbing the full flight of steps yet, but as the steps are easier (shorter height for each step) we believe he will still be able to do that. 

In other areas:  The orthopedic surgeon took an x-ray of Mason in the sleeping brace and it is correcting his curve to the degree they wanted so we don't need any more adjustments on that.  He has quickly gotten used to sleeping in it. 

Physical therapy is still happening weekly and going well.  He is gaining strength in his trunk control but it looks like he may be reaching the limits of what he will gain.  And that won't put him at the balance level we were hoping for, so many tasks involving seated balance (putting on and taking off clothes/jackets, drinking from a cup without chair arms and back to hold him up) are still going to be very challenging.  We'll keep brainstorming and working to find ways to make him successful.  I suspect occupational therapy is in his future for this. 
We are thankful for the healing so far from surgery. On to the next 4 weeks!

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