If your child will be born with clubfeet, they will likely eventually have an operation called a Achilles tenotomy (the surgical cutting of the Achilles tendon). It may sound scary, really what operation doesn’t, but, it is a very quick procedure that helps them get on to the next step of the process, the brace and boots.
I’ve now had two boys go through this, and it was a very similar experience both times.
Screech was about 2 1/2 months old when he had his, and the timing will vary with each child.
Here is how our day went. His procedure was scheduled for early Tuesday morning.
On Monday morning, we had to take his casts off so they would be off for a full 24 hours before having the procedure. His leg was very swollen and dry. I did a lot of massaging that day, and applied coconut oil several times.
Then we took him to our local Prosthetic clinic to have his feet measured for his boots. They will let you reuse the brace, but not the boots, so even though I saved Bug’s boots (isn’t that real life foreshadowing???) I can’t use them… so, that is kind of obnoxious, especially since they are not even truly “custom” made.
Tuesday morning we checked in to the hospital at 0730. I remember having to be there much earlier with Bug’s surgeries, so I wasn’t complaining! Once we did the paperwork, they finally called us back to pre-op. Screech did really well considering he hadn’t eaten since 0420 (he couldn’t eat after 0500). But, he finally got really mad. Thank goodness I had a binky and some sugar water!
I got him dressed into his little tiny hospital gown and little blue socks (which he immediately kicked off)… and we waited.
Eventually Dr. G came in to talk with me and mark his foot. Then the anesthesiologist came in to go over the risks associated with all this. I know there are risks, but when they start talking about it, it makes me a tad sick to my stomach… when it is my “little person”.
They finally came to get him. I placed him in the crib and they put the “gates” up and walked away with my little guy. Then I went out to the waiting area. I was only out there for about 45 minutes when Dr. G came up and said, “ok, let’s go see him… he did great”. So we went back to post op.
I guess since I saw Bug go through so many procedures I was pretty chill when we went back to see him. It took him a good half hour to somewhat come out of his sleep. Dr. G ended up casting his left foot as well. I am glad he did, I like to err on the side of caution!
The PACU nurse and I really hit it off and chatted about bags, nursing and being a “boy” mom!
Once Screech woke, he was super ready to have a late breakfast! So we sat there and nursed and then they took us to the post op area.
Daddy and the boys came to see us. They shared their taffy, had some juice the wonderful nurse got for them and then left to go home.
We waited in post op for about an hour, just to make sure he was awake and alert, and he wasn’t bleeding or having any issues. Once they decided he was fine, we got the green light to leave. They gave us a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine, which we filled as Screech lets you know when he is in pain (still does for that matter).
It was really a quick procedure, we got there about 0730 and were home by 1230
He slept most of the day, and I gave him a couple doses of Tylenol with codeine to take the edge off.
The next day he was a little sleepy, but nursed fine and I didn’t give him any more Tylenol. By day 3, he was back to his normal, grouchy self!