March 10, 2010

Orthopaedic Follow-up

Oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of Bertrand's follow-up x-ray today! However, when I saw it, I was too shocked to take one.

I was standing behind one x-ray technician at the computer while the technician with the lead vest positioned Bertrand for the photos. A giant bone-like cauliflower was taking up an entire half of Bertrand's upper arm! The tiny fracture was no where to be seen, but a giant mass was in it's place!? It was freakish--and I was deeply disturbed. And then, when they went to position Bertrand for a different angle, the computer tech said to the other, "be careful, there is a lot of pathology on that arm." WTF?!

Bertrand and I are in the exam room with the ortho resident, who hems, haws, and then admits that the x-rays didn't look normal to him and that Dr. Jones--the orthopaedic ONCOLOGY specialist--needs to take a longer look at them. (At this point I called Matthew because, with the direction the news seemed to be taking, I wasn't sure I'd be safe to drive home.)

Dr. Jones walks in with a big smile and says, "Bert, your arm is healing like gang busters!"

If I could've melted into a puddle on the floor from the relief, I would have.

Dr. Jones then explained that people with neurologic issues, such as seizures, cerebral palsey or even spinal cord injury, heal bones very differently than normal people. They tend to accumulate even more bone density than before the fracture. My dear son Bertrand was on the extreme end of even this spectrum, and appears to be creating some kind of super bone. He won't be breaking that sucker ever again. :) The giant cauliflower of bone should eventually smooth-out and become better intergrated with the rest of his humerus.

Bertrand's bone is so well healed, in fact, that he doesn't need another follow-up.

Relief. Relief. Relief.

Dr. Jones reiterated that Bertrand is cleared, from an orthopaedic standpoint, to go forward with steroid therapy for his seizures. Also, Bertrand was found to NOT have a leg discrepancy! Dr. J believes Bertrand's muscle--irregular tone--is to blame.

So, a pediatric chiropractor is looming in Bertrand's future! (Annie, you and Collin were right!)


  1. OMG, you almost killed me with the stress!!!!

    Thank God it was good news!

  2. Wow, good for B! I didn't have a ghost of an idea that bones healed up differently if you have neurologic issues, but am very glad that Bertrand now has a triple-reinforced Superbone :).

    (Random note - I did get your email, thank you! I keep meaning to write back and then being too wiped out in the evening to put together something very coherent. V managed to catch chickenpox despite being vaccinated and while she was never *very* sick it's been sufficiently stressful).


    And I am also crying.

    Maybe I'm just over-the-top emotional, but I just know exactly how those visits feel, when you're blindsided by something just when you think you can't be surprised anymore. I am so, so happy to hear that it's just a super bone.

    I mean, what did we really expect though, from such a super kid? ;-)

  4. OK. That was a heart-stopper. And now I am crying (again). Thank goodness. THANK THANK GOODNESS.

  5. > Also, Bertrand was found to NOT have a leg discrepancy!

    One of my doctors is very good at resolving leg length discrepancies. If the strains that pull the hips from level are released, the apparent length of the legs normalize.

    In his 30+ years of practice, he has only had 2 or 4 patients whose legs were still different lengths after their hips had been leveled.

  6. wow! looks like you've been a very busy mama lately! That is good to know about their bones healing fast! and...I also saw your post that B cried for the 1st time!!!! WONDERFUL NEWS!!!