Today we went and saw Sara's orthopedic oncologist to discuss fixing her left hip (her good leg). Sara's left hip is close to dislocating, and it needs to be corrected in two different ways.
First off, he will have to cut off the top of her femur and reattach it at a new angle so that the ball stays in the center of the socket. Then secondly, he will cut and tighten up the muscles that reside around the socket to keep the ball of the femur in the socket once it is all healed up and she begins using her leg to walk and get around. The surgery will last for about 5 hours.
This is a major step in helping Sara to become more mobile and independent. But unfortunately, this isn't the last. There is no telling how long Sara's hip will stay in the socket even once the surgery is done. Because she is so young and still growing, at some point, probably about a year from now, we will have to go in and remove the hardware that will be placed during the surgery. Also, because she is growing there is no guarantees her hip won't become in need of more correction later.
But to do nothing isn't an option, so we must act and hope that Sara will get several years of good mobility out of this surgery. It seems big now...a 5 hour procedure, a couple days in the hospital, 8 weeks of spice cast (from ribs to both ankles), building a ramp on the front of the house for a special wheelchair while she's in the cast, and somehow figuring out how to manage it all at home and at school. Not to mention Christmas is the week after her surgery.
Its scary to think about my baby going under the knife, but it has to be done and its in her best interest. Sara has a great support system, as do I, to help her through this (what seems like now) immense task. It showed today with all the support she had at this appointment. Everyone who will be dealing directly with Sara's care, either daily or every few days, was present to listen to what is going to happen and to ask questions so they know how best to help. My roommate was there because she will be living with us and knows that her daily involvement will be crucial to a smooth event. My boyfriend was there because he will be building a ramp outside my house, and also coming over often to help us care for Sara when my roommate and I have reached our breaking point. My dad was also present to ask questions and make sure he understands the surgery because he knows that I will not be able to really hear anything the doctor says right after surgery because I'll just want to see my baby.
So with all that said, here's the important info I'm sure most of you came to get. Sara's surgery will be on Dec. 19, 2012 at 10am. Let us all pray it goes well!