Our Journey with SCFE
I useto think that playing a team sport was an important part of them growing up but after three injuries I have to admit that I feel quite the opposite now. Last Thursday we had an appointment to see a pediatric orthopedist because my daughter had been having some hip pain and limping a bit. A few days prior to this appointment someone at school ran into her in the hallway and suddenly it hurt to much to even walk on it so this became an emergency appointment.
After waiting and hour and a half to see the doctor he finally walks in with two other doctors and tells me my daughter has Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis and she needs surgery Immediately. WOW, really, suddenly it became hard to breathe and I could only give the doctor one word sentences as the room was closing in around me. The doctor wanted to operate that night and continued tell me all the risks of waiting and all the bad things that could happen. He spoke and I had yet to even have an explanation of what was wrong with her hip. The Definition of a SCFE aka Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis : a shift at the upper part of the thighbone, or femur, that results in a weakened hip joint. Her femoral head slipped off the growth plate and required a screw to be put in in order to fix it. The x-ray clearly showed where it had slipped. Wait it doesn’t stop there….. He wanted to operate on both hips because in 40-60% of all cases the other hip is susceptible to it also. Wait still more to come…. After the surgery she is to only use a wheelchair for 3 months while she is out and at home she is allowed to use crutches and only toe touch with the operated leg. We were hit with so much information in that one appointment there is no way to could approve him to do surgery without finding out more about this doctor and without telling my husband….
My daughter and I walked out of the appointment in total shock. We didn’t say much until I helped her get in the car and then we both cried hysterically. We are not the typical girls that get emotional for every little thing but after the news we just got we were balling. There was so much going through my head like why can’t this happen to me instead of her. Why does she have to go through another surgery in less than a year. My heart physically hurt and still hurts a week later. I live my life believing that God does not give us more than we can handle but I am starting to feel like my pain tolerance is weakening with every injury that happens. Very quickly my life became a mad rush to get the insurance to approve the surgery, approve a wheelchair, contact her school and tell them what was going on and try to be supportive and console my eleven year old that everything was going to be alright. My husband and I contacted everyone we know in any sort of medical field and tried to find out more about this surgeon to help appease or worried minds. We had already booked the surgery for Saturday afternoon but we took most of the day Friday to try to get a second opinion or at least have someone tell us more about the doctor that was going to operate. By 7pm on Friday someone we knew was close friends with the chief of surgery at the hospital where the surgery was going to be done. He reassured us that the surgeon was excellent and told us to proceed with the surgery.
We arrive at the hospital, go through all the pre-op steps and yet again kiss our daughter and watch them wheel her away to surgery. As my husband and I sat in the surgery waiting room we were in disbelief that she was hurt and needing to go through something like this yet again. After two hours we were allowed to see her in recovery. Her smile alone was enough to make the pain in my heart subside just a bit. Within an hour we were taken to a room where she would stay overnight for observation. It was a very long night between the IV machine beeping often, the nurse coming in to check vital signs and the pain waking her up… We were able to leave by the next day and start trying to get acclimated with using a wheelchair and moving around the house.
We are set to go next week and have the bandages removed. I am not sure what is in store for us for the next 3 months. I could not in good conscience have them operate on a perfectly healthy hip. So now, we sit and wait while doctors closely watch the other hip for 12-18 months to see if it develops SCFE….
She is still in a lot of pain 2 weeks after the surgery. We have to take it one day at a time and attempt to stay in school at least half days so that she does not fall behind.
I am not going to give you medical advice but I know there are some things I will do differently. If I ever go to urgent care to get an x-ray done I will then take that x-ray to a doctor or specialist to look at it. Always get a second opinion.