After the horrors of the dreaded spica, life with a Rhino brace for three and a bit months has been pretty painless. About a month in, Lucy learnt how to crawl around in it so the bracing hasn’t held her back in that regard. Some days we’ve even forgotten to take her out for her ‘happy hour’ because she has just been so content in the thing and we’ve come to peace with it too.
This morning we went to the hospital with the usual mix of hopefulness and anxiety that comes from having thought our baby had conquered DDH only to find her hips had regressed and required further treatment. Our appointment today involved an X-ray and a verdict on whether she could reduce her bracing to ‘nights and naps only’.
The X-ray showed that the angles of her acetabula haven’t changed either for better or worse since she came out of the spica. The right acetabulum is well within normal range and curving nicely. The left acetabulum’s angle is slightly out of the normal range and needs to curve more. Both femoral heads are sitting in their sockets as they should be.
We’ve been given the go-ahead for Lucy to wear the brace for sleeping only and for a period of three months. If she is not tolerating it well then we must aim for a minimum period of six weeks. It is hoped that when she starts walking it will provide the necessary stimulus for the desired curving of the bone around the femoral head.
We’ll go back for a check-up in three months’ time and if all is still on track then the appointments will be scheduled for every six months. Between the ages of three and five, the doctors will be able to assess whether the sockets are properly formed or if surgery will be required.
I write this post feeling encouraged that my baby can now start catching up with her peers in her physical development but also weary because I know we’ve still got a few years ahead of us before we can officially close this hippy chapter that has taken up a lot of time and emotional energy in Lucy’s first year of life.