Teeter Totter Knee or Dynamic Valgus

For the last few weeks Nicholas has had a bit of knee trouble. It started with popping and clicking and sometimes it didn’t want to unbend. This happened a lot for about a week and then has been intermittent since. I was going to take him for an xray closer to home but Thursday I was helping out at the RIAO web chat and I figured I’d ask Dr. Standard about it. My instinct was that he would want to see him. Nick’s knee is unique, which I guess you could say for a lot of FH kids, but Dr. Standard knows it inside and out ; )

I was right and we went to Baltimore yesterday. I was worried that the problem was the ligament Dr. Standard put in in June of 2011. Dr. Standard had the same worries but it turns that is ok. Nick has a teeter totter knee or what’s known as dynamic valgus and he’ll need an eight plate put in to correct it. This was a relief compared to the problem being the ligament so it was good news in a way but then again your kid needing surgery is never actually good news. Yes I am grateful it is smaller, yes I am so grateful it is fixable and yet today I am kind of down about it. It’s actually 2 more surgeries.

Nick was relieved to hear eight plate. He wiped his brow in an expression of relief when he heard it was a small surgery and not happening right now. Can you imagine a kid reacting that way. My boy is really amazing and I know when the time comes he will likely take it in stride but after all he went though in the last year I will pay close attention to his emotions and reactions. It is a lot for a little (or not so little) boy to go through.

So surgery will likely happen by spring and it will have to be sooner if it starts to hurt him. Right now he’s saying it does not hurt but nearly trips him and is annoying. We might opt for January to get it over with in winter. Plus he will likely have the 7 screw plate in his tibia removed when the 8 plate is put in and that will mean weeks of downtime too. Honestly I am glad the plate will be removed. I know it was ok to be there but it is a potential problem in my mind and if it’s not needed I’d rather it be gone.

Teeter Totter Knee

Yesterday was also Christopher’s 5th birthday. We made it a great day despite spending it on Nick’s knee mostly. Chris was excited to get to have lunch in the cafeteria and cake by the water fountain in the atrium in the lobby. I also took them to build a bear at the hospital. It was fun to watch the kids choose their animals and just be happy. Because we bought four I was able to buy $50 in gift cards for $25. Nick asked what we would do with it and I said we’d talk to Marilyn about giving it to kids who will be in Baltimore for the holidays for surgery. When we were in the parking lot he saw a kid in a fixator and he wanted to run after the boy and give him the gift cards. I probably should have let him but we were just getting into the car and with all four kids and Nick would have really had to run to catch up to him.

Going to the RIAO with the four kids myself was not a hard as it could have been. Thankfully we were put in a room pretty quick. It kind of turned into insanity after that. Playing cards strewn across the room, paper from the exam table ripped and thrown, singing, dancing, yelling and general excitement. A doctor who was not working with Dr. Standard peeked in and I said “I bet you’re glad you’re not coming in here”. He just stared and ultimately I think he was entranced with Elizabeth’s singing and dancing (2 year olds are quite entertaining at least to me). As soon as she saw him watching she stopped but it was really a fun moment. When Dr. Standard came in he wasn’t phased by the chaos.

Nick also does not need a shoe lift. His difference is a little more than a centimeter or maybe it was a centimeter and a half. We found that out at the end of the visit so my brain was fried by then. I thought it meant that Nick finally slowed down growing but Dr. Standard said his leg might just be keeping up better at the moment. Sometimes the lengthening stimulates growth and hopefully thats what happening. No lift is a pretty big deal! And makes a nice happy ending to this post.

One thought on “Teeter Totter Knee or Dynamic Valgus”

  1. I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk yesterday, I missed out on this news! Glad the visit went well, sorry that he has to have more surgeries (ugh!). Love you guys, and these photos!!! Especially seeing the before and after x-rays, it’s always so amazing to me!


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