Georgia and I went back to the orthopedic surgeon last week. This was a follow-up visit to our visit last October and the primary purpose was to determine if / when Georgia should have a third surgery. Georgia, as you may recall, was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome and while she's come a long way (Click HERE and HERE), her right leg is still a half-inch shorter than her left leg and the doctors have always planned a third surgery to correct this issue. When we last saw our doctor in October, we were pleasantly surprised to find that he was not particularly in favor of doing the surgery after all. Georgia's leg length-descripancy is on the very lowest edge of needing to be corrected and it was his opinion that if she continued to wear her orthodic shoe insert and her back/ pevis remained straight, than he saw no need for an invasive procedure.
The procedure itself has a fancy name that I don't remember but it involves opening up the left leg, fusing growth plates to retard the growth on that leg to give the right side (the shorter side) time to catch up. All of this needs to happen before Georgia stops growing and I imagine it means no exercising, no sports and no movement and a whole lot more xrays, scans and pain.
We put off the decision for six months to allow Georgia to grow some more and we repeated the body scan (xrays) to see her growth progress.
Our appointment last week was almost identical to our last visit to Chidlren's Hospital Boston. The scans were done, the doctor spent time reading the xrays, talking to Georgia and to me, watching Georgia walk and checking her legs. We left feeling encouraged and hopeful that no additional surgery would be needed.
And then my cell phone rang a week later and the number was local but not one that I recognized. I picked it up right away. The Doctor had been reviewing and signing off on on his notes from our visit and was confused about something he had written. He went back to Georgia's chart to check a few facts and while he was checking, he noticed that contrary to what he had seen before, her leg length descrepancy was increasing more than he had realized. AND Georgia (to all of our shock) is currently in the middle of her final growth spurt and the window of opportunity to do the surgery is getting smaller. We also learned that Georgia's growth age is 12 when she is in fact, a short 11 1/2.
So now we have a big decision ahead of us. We have to decide if it's worth the pain and agony to have two legs that are the same length. We need to decide when to do such a surgery, since the summer is already accounted for and this fall, Georgia starts middle school which is not an ideal time to miss a week or so of school. Obviously we want what is best for Georgia, but who is to say what that means?
Could she spend the rest of her life always wearing an insert in her shoe and be fine? Or in a few years from now, will her leg lengths be so different that she is uncomfortable, her spine starts to curve, her hip begins to rise and we are back to where we were when she was seven and we had her last surgery - only this time, it will be too late to do anything about it?
And why on earth is tiny Georgia half-way through her growth spurt?!?! She's only 4' 11"! What's that about!?
We are headed back to the surgeon's office in July and A Decision will be made then. Wish us luck!