Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Hands...

Three weeks after our appointment, I am finally updating! We visited the hand surgeon. Three procedures have been completed to date, two on Sidney’s right hand and one on her left. Both hands are considered complex syndactyly, however they are quite different from one another. Thankfully, both function well and don’t limit her fine motor skills.

Our objective with surgery is function over cosmetic enhancement, however we understand there might come a time when we can’t prevent it completely. She was home six months when she had her first surgery on the right hand. Her fingers were separated using a skin graft off her hip.

 Three years ago in May the second procedure was completed on the same hand, revising the scar tissue which is an inevitable part of having the first procedure. Both procedures required casting for six weeks and a splint for several weeks following. None of it slowed her down, but frankly having a cast when you are small and petite is uncomfortable. I will never forget her dragging around the heavy cast while lumbering around with her limb difference. She was quite frustrated and who could blame her.

The surgeon noticed the separated fingers are tipping in toward one another, however there isn't much we can do with this. She suggested trying a splint. We have been unsuccessful in the past.  Turns out a child in the throes of issues with attachment doesn't deal with a splint pushing on both sides of fingers previously joined together. We had to choose our battles, and that wasn’t one I was going to fight. It was so strange. I’m always in favor of preventing surgery if at all possible, but I knew as a mother I couldn't push her any harder emotionally. Tom and I made the choice to let mother nature take its course. I think even if she had worn a splint between procedures a revision would have been necessary.  Even under the best of circumstances skin grafts heal into thick pieces of skin. 

After looking at her hands now the surgeon decided we are fine to do a splint. We know her fingers are going to do what they are going to do. The best we can try for is to prevent them from turn in towards one another even more. I explained our previous difficulty to the surgeon but let her know if she told her to wear it, she might comply. After telling her it was only something to tack onto her bedtime routine like brushing her teeth, we have been very successful getting her to wear it! 

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