Ellie’s Thumb Operation – The saga continues

I told you all about Ellie and her crazy thumb the other day and the fact that we were waiting to see a surgeon. We’ve now seen the surgeon and Ellie has had an operation so I thought I should probably update everyone and tell you about experience with the crazy thumb!

We went back to the surgeon last Friday for a consultation and after a short examination he knew exactly what had happened. Despite none of us (and I include myself in this) believing that Ellie hadn’t done anything to make this happen ie, She had fallen or something. Ellie was actually telling the truth. She genuinely didn’t do anything or know how it happened because it was a medical problem rather than a physical one.

The muscle on one side of her thumb had gone into a huge spasm causing the ligaments and muscles the other side to try to correct it making her thumb go into a crazy deformed shape. As I mentioned in my previous post all of her X-rays and scans were normal and that is because it was a muscular issue.

The surgeon then declared that he would like to operate on Ellie on the Monday to attempt to manually manipulate the thumb into its correct shape whilst she was asleep so that she wouldn’t feel anything. If her hand remained in spasm during the operation they would inject her with Botox to try to help the spasm. Unfortunately it was my mothers funeral on Monday so we wasn’t able to take her in until yesterday ( Wednesday)

Operation day

On the morning of her operation Ellie was informed that she couldn’t eat from 7:30am so she woke up at 7 and had some cereal and a glass of water. Her appointment was at 11:30 so she climbed her preteen hormonal body back to bed for a couple of hours.

We arrived at the hospital and were shown to her bed. Our nurse Danielle introduced herself and then spent quite a long time reassuring an extremely nervous Ellie and explaining to her everything that would happen before making all of her health checks on her. She had her weight, height, blood pressure, pulse and temperature checked. All came back saying she was healthy so all that was left to do was to wait for the anaesthetist and the surgeon to arrive to discuss everything with us. Danielle also made sure that Ellie had plenty of ‘magic’ cream on her should they need to add further needles anywhere.

The anaesthetist arrived and went through some basic health questions with us and then explained how they would be putting her to sleep. Next it was time for one of the surgeons to come and speak to us. He explained the procedure and also mentioned they may need to insert pain relief up her back passage. Ellie was mortified especially when her surgeon was extremely attractive. ( In fact I did debate falling down a hole and seeing if he could fix me 😉 ) He also informed us for the first time that the surgery may not even work. I asked him what the plan of action was and he told us that they would repeat it and then work out a plan from them.

I was a little miffed that we hadn’t been told it may not work before this but I guess with every surgery there are risks and things that might go wrong so we just accepted it for what it was and Ellie got herself into the latest of hospital fashion.

The operation

Soon it was time for us to take Ellie to theatre. I was able to go with her and whilst we were waiting for the anaesthetic her consultant spotted us and came over to speak to us and see how Ellie was feeling. He explained again what they were going to do but also said that he hoped that once Ellie was asleep and her body relaxed that the thumb would reset itself.  We went into the anaesthetic room and there were a few doctors there. As it is such a rare thing to happen they all wanted to come and watch! The surgeon himself has only ever seen 3 cases and one of the 3 is Ellie! Unfortunately as they put her to sleep her thumb remained very bent. I kissed her on the head and was sent on my way to wait for her to return.

As a mother and someone who is very close and over protective of all of my children that was the longest hour of my life. I was confident that she was in safe hands and all of the staff from nurses, doctors and even the porters were absolutely amazing with her but still I was dubious as she had never had general anaesthetic before. I made my way to the cafe for a sandwich and waited for the call to say it was finished.

We went back up to recovery where I was told that the consultant had successfully managed to put her thumb into a normal position and cast it without having to use any Botox at all. They plan on seeing her in 3 weeks to see if it has worked. If it hasn’t then she will go back into theatre for the Botox treatment. If that doesn’t work then we are unsure what happens next.

We went back to the childrens ward where we were told that if Ellie could eat and drink without being sick we were allowed home. However she was still very drowsy and just wanted to rest.

Eventually we managed to get her to eat something and it was a positive sign. All we had to do was wait for the doctor to write the letter and we were on the home straight. Grandad decided to entertain Ellie whilst we were waiting.

Ellie has recovered really well. Shes still fairly sleepy and is in pain from where they had to manipulate her thumb but I am confident she will be well enough to return to school on Monday and fingers crossed this will be the end of the strange thumb saga we will know for sure in 3 weeks time!

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