Our Mission

SpicaCasts.com is here to be a resource and support group for those parents who may be preparing for the process, or are in the process, or have already been through the process of correcting hip dysplasia on a child.

Update on Natalie and Lilie

Natalie and Lilie have not been to the doctor in a while, but every check up has been extremely positive. We are pleased with the progress. Both Lilie and Natalie seem to be progressing well. With Natalie being in Kindergarten this year, she comes home talking about how she played on the playground and done some rather active things such as the monkey bars, where you would think that the landing could potentially hurt. Instead, she seems to enjoy it and there is not very many complaints of pain.

We were slightly concerned a few weeks ago when she was talking about her legs hurting, and she pointed to her groin area. However, being so tall and having the same issues at her age, we don’t think it is related to her hip dysplasia. We think it is likely growing pains because she seems to be able to do very active things at times without any complaints at all while sometimes her legs hurt while simply sitting on the couch.

We hope that those that read this blog are still doing well and hope that you have learned something from our experiences! :)

Posted on December 16th, 2011 under General, News | Comments: none

Good News

Natalie had her appointment yesterday morning. The poor little thing had to have two other tests run on her before we went to see her orthopedic doctor. She was a little traumatized by the time that we had to go this appointment, but we got really good new while we were there.

Natalie no longer has to wear her brace at night. The doctor told us that she is just like every other kid. She can play whatever games she wants. We no longer have to super cautious of what her activities are. The doctor does not want to see her until next year for a follow up. I am sure that we will have to continue follow up appointments for the next couple of years.

The doctor also said that she does not look like she will require surgery when she is four, but it is still not completely out of the question. I will take whatever good news we can get for now. Thanks to everyone who was thinking about her yesterday.

Posted on February 19th, 2009 under General, News | Comments: 4

Update

Natalie is going in for a check up with her doctor tomorrow. She will actually be having a lot of other test run on her as well. She had been having problems with UTI’s so we are having all of her test run tomorrow. She will have a total of three. We will begin our day at 6:30 so that we can get all of her appointments in by noon.

We will keep you posted on her progress with DDH. I pray that we will get some good news tomorrow. She only has like one year left to correct the condition before they consider doing surgery again. I personally do not want to have to go through another surgery that is going to keep immobile for a long period of time.

Posted on February 17th, 2009 under General | Comments: 1

Natalie’s Birthday

Natalie’s Birthday

I am so excited about Natalie’s birthday coming up. She is so excited for her party this year. She is really into Dinosaurs. We went to go see the Walking with Dinosaur show at the ford center. She paid attention to the entire thing and was talking about if for days afterward. When I think back on how far she has come, it makes me look back over the last couple of years.

When Natalie was first diagnosed with DDH, I was so afraid that she would have all kinds of developmental delays. She has proved me wrong again and again. It amazes me how children quickly adjust. Natalie is getting ready to turn three on Feb. 12, and I can not believe how far she has come.

When she first had her surgery, she was so little that it was hard to tell if she would have any delays. I was afraid that she would walk way later than all the kids her age. This little girl was so amazing that she learned how to walk just after a month and half out of her cast. I just knew that I would be carrying her around for six months after her cast was removed. She just would not be still. I do not blame her though after being forced in pretty much one position for 12 weeks.

The age of two is when most children start figuring out how to jump with their feet off the floor. Any age under this and they usually are just up on their toes. I thought well her hip is still pretty far off from where it needs to be, so I did not expect to be able to do this. Yet again, mom was in for a surprise. She just started jumping out of nowhere one day.

Do not get me wrong, I am happy that she can surprise me with these things. I am so proud of how far she has come. I am looking forward to what this new year will bring. I say that because we are thinking about signing her up for soccer, if her doctor says that it is okay.

Posted on February 9th, 2009 under General | Comments: none

A Test on Her Hip

Last Saturday was our oldest daughters birthday party, she turned nine. Wow she is growing up so quickly. For her birthday party we were able to rent out the Oklahoma Baptist University swimming pool and they furnished a room, etc. My wife went to one of our cousins birthday parties there and said it was extremely nice. I had no idea it was as nice as it ended up being.

Natalie had been swimming before, but this kind of stood out in my mind as I was thinking about some of the active things Natalie has done in the last few weeks. She is actually an extremely active child now days. I am constantly having to tell her to slow down as she runs through church, or make sure to hold onto her tighly in parking lots and stores because she will try to run away. However, while swimming she seemed to really enjoy it. For a couple of hours we had lifejacket on her and she was kicking around the pool, with a little help mind you, but still doing a lot of the work. I was really impressed with her stamina. You would think that with her hip displaysia it would become sore or would be quicker to tire out. She held up with everyone just fine and this is a promising sign that she will be able to play sports if she decides she wants to.

Posted on November 17th, 2008 under General, News | Comments: none

Holding Natalie for the First Time in Her Spica Cast

When we were getting ready to leave the hospital after Natalie’s surgery she decided she wanted to be held for the first time. I did not realize I would have to be taught on how to hold her.

The cast makes it very difficult to hold them close. The nurse had to show me ways that would be comfortable to her and me. A little time passed and we found out how to hold her comfortably. The cast can make it difficult to hold them close to your chest so that they can lay their head on your shoulder. You have to place a pillow at first under their chest to make it even with the cast. That is how the nurses wanted us to hold her. She did not like to lie down like that at all so we had to find other options. After about five minutes of twisting and turning Natalie was able to find something comfortable for her. This was also something that I was not prepared for. It is hard to not be able to hold your baby close to you like you have since they were born. That was one of my difficult moments.

Posted on May 6th, 2008 under General | Comments: none

The Surgery and Anesthesia on Babies

It was a month after seeing the doctor for the first time about Natalie’s hip that she would have her surgery. They had given us pictures of what the spica cast would look like, but that really does not prepare you for seeing your own child frightened and scared. She was so little and this thing was so big. I was in no way prepared for the shock of how little and helpless she looked. I almost fell apart in the hospital, but I couldn’t or that would have frightened her even more.

Natalie had a rough time with the anesthesia. She would jerk herself awake every few minutes causing her to cry for about a minute then she would slowly go back to sleep. This happened all night long. I read later that in babies the anesthesia can make them feel like they are falling. This was apparently what had happened to her because she was scared when she would wake up. She was probably in pain as well since she would make her entire body jump awake. She also had an upset stomach and was soon being treated for dehydration. Luckily, she recovered the next morning, and we were able to go home as planned. We packed up all of her stuff, and headed home.

Posted on May 5th, 2008 under General | Comments: 1

Our First Time to See the Doctor For Hip Dysplasia

We went to see the orthopedic doctor who was the top in his field. The doctor was able to diagnose her within five minutes of seeing her. He sat down next to us, placed her knee together, and pushed them towards her chest. Here it was obvious that one knee was shorter than the other. Her knees did not match up with one another. The doctor sent her off to have x-rays. They came back with proof that a baby can be born with hip dysplasia. I was completely shocked. I was thinking we would go in see the doctor and he would suggest some kind of brace for her legs because we thought that it was her legs. She was slightly bow legged as well. I was not prepared to sit in the room and listen to three different kinds of surgeries that could be used to correct this problem. I still could not believe it when it was time to go and I had to call my husband and tell him that the only solution to correct it was going to be surgery. I was so very thankful that my dad had drove us to the doctor appointment that day. There was no way I could have made it home in one piece. My world felt out of control and scary all at the same time. I had no idea what to be prepared for because I did not know any one who had a child that had gone through any kind of surgery not to mention one that would leave them in a body cast afterwards.

Posted on May 2nd, 2008 under General | Comments: none

Symptoms of Natalie’s Hip Dysplasia

Our daughter Natalie was born on February 12, 2006. She was the average healthy baby that every parent hopes they will be. The pediatrician checked her from head to toe and found that nothing was out of place. At least that is what every one thought at the time.

It was when Natalie was around four months old that we noticed that her right hip was not as flexible as the other. My husband is not flexible at all and we thought that she had inherited this from him. Little did we know that can be a sign of a dislocated hip. I did not even know that babies could have a dislocated hip or hip dysplasia. We did not really think any more about it for awhile. This was our second child, but because our first was the picture of health we did not even consider that there might be something wrong. Actually no one in our entire family really thought that anything was wrong.

Two months later I was playing with Natalie on the floor and decided to measure and see how much she had grown since her last check-up. This is when I noticed that one of her legs was shorter than the other. Her right leg was actually shorter than her measurement from her last check-up which had been a month prior to this time. Natalie’s legs were ¾ of an inch different. She was about six months old by this time. She has an appointment with her regular doctor two weeks later so I waited to for her appointment thinking that it was all in my head. I thought I was a paranoid mother who constantly finds things wrong with children. You know the kind where their children always have the symptoms of every new disease or sickness. I talked to the doctor anyway and found out that I was right it was shorter and Natalie was scheduled to see an orthopedic doctor the following day. Natalie’s doctor also found that she had torticollis.

Torticollis is where one side of the neck muscles will grow shorter than the other side. This causes the head to lean to one side or the other. Natalie was scheduled to start physical therapy for this condition two days later. We would go through three weeks of physical therapy to see no improvement at all. I even did extra therapy to make sure that I was doing my part to make her better. It did not work, but there was a reason why. A study showed that 5percent of babies who have torticollis also have hip dysplasia. We did not know that at the time either and apparently neither did the physical therapist. The physical therapist had no idea why the therapy was not working. After Natalie’s surgery, her neck was perfectly fine. We decided that she was using her head to balance the rest of her body so she could sit up. She no longer needed physical therapy, she needed surgery to correct her dislocated hip.

Posted on May 1st, 2008 under General | Comments: 4

What to Expect - Mama’s Point of View

On October 18th 2006 Natalie was scheduled for a procedure called medial open reduction. This surgery would require the doctors to remove the muscles attached to the top of her femur. They would then place the leg in the proper position with her hip. See, infants do not have the ball at the top of the femur to hold the leg or hip in place. This part of the joint develops later around 18 moths old. The muscles are then reattached to the leg in the proper position. The Spica Cast is then placed on the child to hold the hip in the best position for the growth and strength of the newly attached muscles.

The surgery itself was not the difficult part to handle. Though there was a lot of swelling and bruising around the incision. It was simply the fact that she could no longer move the entire lower half of her body. She had just learned to crawl, pull up, and walk along the furniture two weeks prior to the surgery. It broke my heart for her to have that taken away, but I was extremely grateful that this surgery would give her a chance for a more normal life. If she had not had the surgery she would not have been able to walk with out having pain for the rest of her life.

The doctors told us that she would learn to adapt to being in the cast, but that it would be us, the parents, who would be mad at the world for the next three months. They were so very right. It only took Natalie about 10 days to figure out how to pull herself around in the very heavy cast. I think that she would have figured it out sooner had she not been sick with a stomach virus for the first two weeks. Something that is very important to remember: do not let anyone who has had a stomach virus around your child after being placed in a Spica Cast. This will make it very difficult to care for them because of trying to keep the cast dry and clean. It is pretty much impossible if they develop a stomach virus.

Posted on April 30th, 2008 under General | Comments: none