You may have noticed in some of the pictures we’ve posted of Caloway that he has been in a brace. We haven’t spoken to many people about this beyond our immediate family and closest of friends for a number of reasons but felt it was time to go ahead and share what has been going on with our little boy.
We’re only sharing this because so many of you have asked recently … because you care, you love us and you adore our baby. Thank you so much for that. It’s one of the great joys of my life to see so many people drawn to him and feel so much love for our little man.
So here goes …
On the day of his birth on Jan. 29, 2013, the hospital pediatrician came in to examine Cal … only to mention that he noticed “clicking” in his hips. In the next day we learned that he had “hip dysplasia” and the doctors put him in a brace called a “Pavlik Harness.”
After the doctor left, we distinctly remember sitting on the hospital bed together, holding each other and crying our eyes out as we thought of our newborn son.
All of you parents can relate I’m sure. No matter how small or minor … it is our child.
Evidentally hip dysplasia is fairly common in infants, particularly girls and babies who were breech (which we discovered Cal had been for some time, but learned about only two weeks before he was born). Essentially his femur and hip socket did not form correctly … and his hips easily come out of the socket.
Normally mild forms are treated with the Pavlik or correct themselves. But Caloway has a severe form of hip dysplasia and has been treated by the OU Children’s Hospital pediatric orthopedic clinic since the week after his birth.
Under their expert direction we tried 4 different (and custom) braces over the course of the last 3 months, with checkups every week to check his progress.
Early on, the word “surgery” was dropped and of course rocked our world, although we were optimistic it would be corrected with the braces. In early April though the doctors tried the last brace and then suggested the next course of action would be surgery.
That’s when we decided to get a second opinion and perspetive to ensure we were doing the best and right thing for our little precious baby. So our little family flew to San Diego to meet with a highly rated pediatric orthopedic surgeon a couple of weeks ago. It was a very productive trip and confirmed everything we had done and that surgery would be the next, best step in correcting his condition.
So here we are … I type this on Wednesday and in two days, on Friday, our little boy will be going into surgery, or rather what we’re calling a procedure.
Surgery though is a tough, tough word. Especially as we look on our amazing little boy and he smiles back at us.
Although I’m SO thankful it is not something worse and this should be correctable and a blip on the radar of a great, long, healthy and joyful life for our son … it sucks.
We’ve been assured numerous times that it’ll likely be harder on us than him. But we would still gladly trade places with him.
We have not taken this lightly. We’ve asked questions upon questions, verified and re-verified. We haven’t rushed into this, but rather evaluated our options and sought to do what is best for our son first and foremost. Lindsey has been involved with a couple of online parent groups who have kids with severe hip dysplasia like Caloway’s … it’s been reassuring, helpful and comforting to know we’re not alone.
As a loving, protective father, I’ve stared into the eyes of every doctor and nurse and made sure they knew we’re trusting our entire world to them.
My biggest concern is/was anthesia, since the procedure (hopefully just “closed reduction”) will simply mean setting the bones in the sockets, then casting him. We’ve been walked through the process and although I would never choose this for him, we’re confident in the doctors and anesthesiologists and nurses who only deal with children.
If they think an “open reduction” is warranted, they will make a small incision, assess how bones are fitting together, clean out the socket if needed and put him in the body cast.
The body cast will go from his ankles to his chest and he’ll be in it for about 3 months. After that, he’ll return to a removable brace for a time and then we are home free.
We’re already planning on asking a couple of our talented designers who love Caloway to paint something unique and special on his cast.
The procedure will go pretty fast (two hours or less) … then we’ll be in the hospital overnight. Then home, checkups, recasting at 6 weeks and more checkups.
We’ll keep you informed … in the meantime, thank you for your love and support for Caloway and us.