Gab got her cast off on July 2nd, after six long weeks of wearing it. The doctor seemed pleased with her incisions and thought the hand and thumb looked to be in a good position. At this point it looks as if the surgery was successful. Of course Dr. Brown informed us we won’t fully know until she has completed therapy and starts to use it more.
When the cast was first removed Gab’s hand and arm were pretty sore. Which I could only imagine and that was to be expected. Her arm was held in the cast for six weeks bent at the elbow so it was hard for her to straighten it. She complained and did NOT want anyone to touch her incisions. It took a couple of weeks for the tape strips to fully come off since I wasn’t allowed to pull at them at all, per Gab.
Although it was a relief to have the cast taken off and be able to actually wash her arm finally, she had to go straight into a brace. She got fitted right away and you can even view the Whrrl story here. Gab picked bright pink for her hand/arm splint. The brightness matches her attitude! I, again, created a Whrrl Story of us picking up the splint after it came in. She loved it yet hated it at the same time. It was stylish for a brace yet at times would make her arm sweat and itch. We were instructed to keep this on her hand/arm at all times for six weeks. She could take it off to bathe of course and up to one hour for swimming. Thank goodness because by July 2nd she was ready to get in the water!
Unfortunately Dr. Brown did give Gab bad news as he wouldn’t allow her to jump on the trampoline. She wasn’t very pleased with this new rule since she thought as soon as the cast came off she could go at it, but he said her arm was too fragile at this point.
We started hand therapy within the first week and she now goes twice a week for an hour at a time. At first we were working on stretching and just trying to get her hand back to the way it was. Now we are up to the point of actually teaching her to use it and grasping items with it. A little at a time we are working forward. Hopefully within the next few weeks we can start strengthening.
I was so excited to see her hold something in her right hand. It was a blessing and the simplest things in life that mean so much to this child. I saw her face light up right before me with the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, I was so proud! A little each day I see improvements. I even blogged her first time grasping an item in therapy here.
Gab went and saw Dr. Brown this past week on August 26th for her six week checkup after getting the cast off. He was so happy to see her doing so well. He was very pleased with her grasp and felt that if she wore the brace less often during the day that she might start using it more. We know that her right hand will always be an assist hand to her left but seeing her actually have some use of it, is awesome! Dr. Brown gave her the clear to jump on the trampoline again, with precaution! She was excited although out of five days she has only jumped once. Funny how you want something more when you can’t have it. So now Gab is instructed to wear only the hand part of her splint at night while she sleeps and go splint free during the day. It’s nice to have a doctor checkup with great news!
To view all the photos from her hand surgery see my flickr set.