Then they cut off the inner liner.
Finally her legs are exposed. They look yellowish from sweat when she slept.
After the cast was removed we met with Dr. S for a few minutes. He brought up the x-rays and showed us. They looked good. The one side looks better than the other still but he hopes that the cartilage (which doesn't show on x-rays) will fill in around her left femur and eventually turn to bone, increasing the hip socket. The hope is if that happens she won't need further surgery in the future. She may need to have the plates removed from her legs if they causes her pain. If you want to see x-rays of her hips see this post and click on the picture to enlarge it.
Then they fitted her with a brace and then did another x-ray in the brace to make sure her hips where in position. It's a little different from the brace we had after the last spica cast when she was a year old. Her muscles are stiff and it seems to be painful. Getting her in and out of this brace for diaper changes has been a two person job and worse even than double diapering in the spica cast.
The doctor's goal for us is to wean her out of the brace over the next 2-3 weeks so that she is eventually only using it when she sleeps during the next 6 weeks, until we get the okay to resume normal activity in July. So each day we take her out of the brace for periods of time so she can try moving her legs as tolerated. Sometimes she needs to be put back in the brace because she'll otherwise move her leg into a position that causes pain and she is afraid to move it, so she gets "stuck". Poor kid. This is the tough part of this surgery, the recovery.
After 4 hours were were finally done and on our way home. They scheduled this appointment for us on Steve's birthday and I never bothered to change it. My birthday was spent in the hospital the day after this surgery. Steve had been planning to come but caught a cold (not good for sick kids) and didn't come. Luckily so. They were so late I had to have him leave work to meet the kids off the school bus. Wow! We didn't expect that to take so long!
We were surprised she wasn't happier to be out of the cast. This is a pretty good shot of the brace.
When we got home we gave her a nice bath. After 6 weeks, I couldn't wait. Surprisingly the bandages were still stuck. I opted to soak them off in the tub.
The leg incisions looked good. The discoloration here is pen marks and glue. She's got 4 nice good sized new scars to add to her collection. We gave her skin a nice slathering of lotion and put her in her jammies.
We had a nice dinner for Steve's birthday. Opened presents and then had cake. We were a little behind schedule with the cast removal taking up a huge focus of the day but it worked out okay. Sadly as you can see here Ainsley wouldn't even turn her head to look at us for the rest of the night.
But by the next day she was happier. Dr. S wants us to work up to sitting up. And sure enough the next day she used the wheelchair to push herself into a semi-sitting position. It's been a tough week and its going to be a tough recovery but we knew that going into this and I'm sure she'll get there it's just going to take time.