View Full Version : Home after growing rods surgery

03-17-2010, 08:23 PM
My surgeon is understandably proud. My child's 108 degree curve (lower) is now 30 degrees! From the first time she was diagnosed, it's never been under 80. The upper curve was trickier--didn't get the final measurement, but the surgeon had to resort to hooks for the top due to her size. Walking is a bit tricky right now, since she's apparently been compensating beautifully for that curve, but she's getting there.

One issue that came up that I wish I had known beforehand, however, is that a dramatic correction can apparently increase a child's risk of bowel obstruction. Especially in children who have had abdominal surgery in the past, as mine has. Anyone else hear of this? My child had some vomiting and trouble getting back onto tube feeds as usal post-surgery, we think due to constipating pain meds and general GI sensitivity in the first place, but it apparently scared the ped attendings at the hospital. Turned out to be just a scare--but it sure shook us up to hear about this AFTER her surgery. Anyone else run into this?

03-19-2010, 10:30 PM
This is SUCH A COMMON issue post-surgery. I wish all ortho surgeons would help their patients with this during the post-up recovery. Your daughter's correction was amazing. Big correction. Great news. Constipation after surgery - not so great news. If you haven't already, please give her oral meds (or rectal enemas) to keep her "moving". Until she's medication-free, and more mobile, and eating and drinking well, she will continue to have issues with constipation. My son is 14yrs old and has VEPTR rods. They have been expanded 17 times in 8 years. EVERY SINGLE time I have to argue with the post-op people to help keep him constipation free. After 30+ surgeries (most for his spine issues) I think we finally have a good "recipe" that works for him. Not fun, but very common. Good luck!

03-20-2010, 04:42 PM
Well, the constipation seems to have run its course, helped by finally getting her back on regular feeds and the fact that she's trying to run everywhere! Still having pain issues around bedtime--I'm thinking we need to upgrade her from a crib to a twin with a more supportive mattress.