The doc's report:
The doctor had to actually break both the radius and the ulna in order to straighten out the arm. The procedure was called a "closed reduction of the radius and ulna." This is most commonly done immediately after the fracture happens and less commonly 4.5 weeks after it happens. It just makes me ache to think about the doctor physically having to break Luke's forearm bones with his bare hands. After the procedure, while Luke was in recovery, the doctor spoke with us about the procedure in a consultation room. He showed us the X-ray of the arm, and stated it was the best he could do to get it straight and that the angulation was within "acceptable range". My initial thoughts were "by whose terms was this acceptable?" I didn't feel this seemed acceptable, as the bones didn't even look completely lined up to me. I don't like the term, "acceptable range," without full explanation of what that means. Since the procedure, I have done some research about it. Based on my findings, I wish he would have said, "The angulation was within acceptable range for his age in order for the bones to heal back in alignment and without functional loss of motion." Residual angulation of < 10 degrees does not result in functional loss of motion at any age. Children < 9 years of age can remodel up to 15 degrees of angulation. Therefore, with my recent education I am going to ask the doctor at our next appointment how many degrees of angulation resulted in the reduction.
To be honest, I was so concerned about seeing and holding my baby that I didn't ask many questions of the doctor following the procedure. Apparently children react completely different that adults do following anesthesia. When adults come out of anesthesia, they are sleepy. However, babies scream and cry. Poor things--it is scary for them because they don't understand where they are, or how they got to sleep. So, we spent quite a bit of time consoling our little guy following his procedure. Because of this reaction in children, and because the health care practitioners would need to take Luke back to his procedure without us present, the anesthesiologist recommended we give Luke a little Versed prior to the procedure. It was so weird seeing Luke's behavior on that medication, but the nurse was able to take him back to his procedure without a peep. Luke was so loopy.
|Before the procedure--Luke was playing with his Thomas the Train.|
Anyway, I am just so glad this part is behind us. Thank you God for allowing this to go as smoothly as it did. Now, we are praying for complete recovery, allowing Luke full range of motion of his arm.
Thank you everyone for your prayers--I know they helped as we felt a sense of peace the day of the procedure.
Luke is now in a splint and sling. I practically hover over him all day now in order to support him if he tries to push off with that arm, or to prevent him from slipping and falling onto that arm. The doctor told us it is very important that he doesn't put any pressure on that arm. These are easy instructions to follow as an adult--but a 16-month old--not so easy! We will keep everyone updated--our next appointment is in a week. We'll get some more X-rays to make sure it is healing properly.