Fixator-less Pinsite Infection… not so much

We had a bit of a scare recently. Nicholas has a random high fever and headache for about 4 days. When we took him to the doctor we also mentioned an itchy red spot on his leg. The doc noticed it was right on an old pinsite. Nicholas always had headache’s with pinsite infections. He had no other symptoms so his doc thought it could be an infection in the old pin site. Apparently infections can lay dormant or something! It also happened to be a pinsite that had quite a few infections when he had his fixator on.

Luckily this diagnosis happened on a Thursday! Chat Day!! I was able to explain it all to Dr. Standard that night. And the strangest part at the time was the fact that by the time I was on chat that night the red spot was gone! Old pinsite scar looked like an old pinsite scar and nothing more. Dr. Standard mentioned some possible things that could be going on (including bone infection) and said he could see Nicholas in the morning. Nick had an appointment Monday anyway but I was relieved to get to take him in sooner.

At this point Nick and I enjoy these little trips. We get so much time to chat just the two of us. It is a 2 hour drive from our house in PA to Sinai in Baltimore. It is all so familiar to me… the curves of the road, the river, the exits with good eats and clean restrooms. I try not to stop on the way down though.

Friday is not  a usual clinic day for Dr. Standard but it still was not much of a wait for us. He must have come between surgeries. Thankfully Nick’s x-ray’s looked GREAT. His bone looked prefect! (his eight plate is still doing it’s thing as well) I did not realize just how worried I was till I felt the relief wash over me when Dr. S came in and said all was well. Now we know it was a virus since my 3 other kids had it too but at the time it was just Nick, who hardly gets sick and it was scary!

At the appointment Nick was scheduled for on Monday we were to schedule Nicks knee surgery so we did. Dr. S said we could do it in June or September. We were trying to make sure Nick has no limitations during our August family vacation!! We chose June since I would rather not interfere with school if we don’t have to. So on June 17th (Nick’s baby sisters 1st birthday), Nicholas will have his knee surgery. June 10th was an option but we’ll be at Jellystone Park with Dr. S and other Sinai families that weekend! Somehow we were able to plan around all our little vacations! Dr. Standard’s new secretary Ann (not so new actually but we had not met since Barbara was still Dr. S’s secretary when Nick last had surgery and we loved Barbara) came by to tell us what dates were available. Summer is so busy at the RIAO I think we were lucky to get Nick scheduled for June.

So now the countdown begins.

I would love to write out all the details but really I did not ask for them. I trust Dr. Standard and that he knows what to do. I know he is getting a ligament from a donor. I have previously described the surgery as similar to an acl replacement. Nick’s knee is loose (or loosey goosey depending on your particular lingo). It moves in ways it should not and while he has no troubles now there is the potential from big trouble. Nick’s knee could get stuck in the wrong position which would require some much more serious surgery.

I guess this is small compared to a fixator but it is still surgery, a few days in the hospital and 6 weeks recovery! Nick has art camp in June but I am thinking a sitting activity will be just the thing for him. He’s taken abstract art and clay this year and he loves it! I know he’ll be upset not to be able to go swimming for a few weeks but we’ll make the  most of the time we have and not put him in situations where he is watching other kids do something he can’t. That worked well when he was in the fixator. We did not go to amusement parks and such because come on, fixator and roller coaster just don’t seem like a natural pairing!

I know he’ll be ok. His knee will be stronger and I will really feel that he is over the hump in terms of surgeries. More than 1/2 way to the light at the end of the tunnel. The light being 2 legs, same length, with stable joints, carrying Nicholas into his future. We’re getting there!

4 thoughts on “Fixator-less Pinsite Infection… not so much”

  1. I have daughter who is missing her left fibia and I have been going to doctors trying to figure out the best solution for my daugter, she is 6 weeks old right now and I want her to have a normal life. I am asking for information on the lengthing, I was told it is painful and she will go through this many times. Can you help me and tell me if you are happy with the decisin that you have made instead of the boyd amputation. Any feed back is appreciated and you can email me at
    Thank you


  2. Hello,

    My name is Tim Zemp and I’m from Switzerland.

    I’m currently on my way to reach the “Matura” which allows me to enter the university. In the 5th of 6 years at the gymnasium, we have to write a project. I choosed my own disability, the Fibular Hemimelia as the subject for the project. I’m analysing the treatment options and the psychological effects of the Fibular Hemimelia.

    Due to the fact that i would like some interessting and useful facts about the disability, I’ve wirtten a little questionnaire.

    It would be very kind if you could spend some minutes answering the following questionnaire. It would help me a lot.

    Thank you and Best Regards,

    Tim Zemp

    PS: I didn’t found an email address, so i thought posting it as a comment would be the best way 🙂


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