Category Archives: Orthopedics

Buried Treasure Comes in Odd Forms, The Long Lost Helmet

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As I’m deep cleaning our basement, I’m realizing the amount of junk one family can acquire over the years…

But in all the junk, I’m finding some amazing treasures! Some of these treasure finds I’m keeping, some I’m selling, and some donating or just throwing away. I’ve even gone as far as ordering a dumpster for next week so I can really clean house!

In all the things I’ve found, one really stood out as a true oddity but memorable treasure: the mold from Joey’s head and the helmet that he wore for 18 long weeks as a baby to correct Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly! I mean, who else can find a mold of their own child’s head along with his old helmet laying around in their basement?! This mom can!

Joey had to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day. The only time it came off was when it was time do his bath and for us to wipe down the inside of it with rubbing alcohol. I had to drive him once a week 40 minutes each way to have a helmet adjusted. By the end of the 18 weeks, I could do that drive with my eyes closed!

But those 18 long weeks were so worth the wait in the end when he went from having a completely lopsided head to a perfectly round head. Just look at these before and after pictures!

Looking back at these pictures and remembering all those long, stressful days with Joey and the helmet 10 years ago. I realize now how grateful I am that we took the time and had his head corrected. I can’t imagine Joey now being 11 years old and have a lopsided head!

As I continue my project of deep cleaning our basement, I wonder what other hidden treasures and memories I may come across…

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Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes…

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I had noticed during one of Jojoe’s Special Olympics practices that his gate while running was totally off. He’s always had a waddle to his walk, almost like a strut, and at times clumsy, but I guess until he started running in a straight line down the track at practice, I never thought about it. So I took a video and showed his pediatrician who suggested that I make him an appointment to go see an Orthopedist. We had already ruled out a tethered spinal cord a few years ago when another doctor noticed he’s a “toe walker.”

Some children with Down syndrome have congenital knee, hips or feet problems so I just wanted to rule out any possibilities with Joey. Being a parent of a child who’s had past hidden medical problems (malrotated bowels, obstructed bowels, ect…), I couldn’t help but be paranoid at the possibility of something else being wrong.

I promptly made an appointment with an Orthopedist at CT Children’s Medical Center, thankfully, they had an opening for the following week (which today was the appointment).

So this morning, we headed up I-84 to Hartford to his appointment. Dr. T and his resident were both super nice and were extremely thorough. First the resident had me run with Jojoe up and down the hallway a few times and saw what I was talking about, so then an x-ray was ordered. And let me tell you, getting an x-ray of anything on Joey is almost impossible to most x-ray technicians except for a few at CCMC and by the grace of God, our favorite one was there so thankfully it only took one try to get a clear image!

Dr. T looked over Joey’s x-ray immediately while we were there and said that there’s  no hip dysplasia or dislocations. The only thing noticed was a cyst on each hip, which you can see on the x-ray below. One is a little larger than the other, but nothing that needs to be taken care of immediately, if ever. Also, it was mentioned the way Joey’s hips are shaped is why his legs so inward a bit resulting in his odd gate.

As for the toe walking, Dr. T said we could do braces on his feet/legs but with Joey’s sensory issues, we both agreed that there’s no way he would tolerate wearing them, just to try to re-direct Joey when he starts toe walking and hope that over time, he will stop on his own.

Today as we left CCMC, I breathed a sigh of relief thankful that there’s nothing major wrong with Joey, just two little cysts which we made a follow up appointment for 6 months from now to see if there’s been any changes in them. Untitled