Posted by Dave
Hello, all! Matt has been doing very well since his last surgery in early February to open up his nasal airway. He went to one followup appointment in the OR two weeks after his surgery, and they said things looked good then and to come back to the regular ENT office (clinic) in another month. He just had that appointment earlier this week, and they said that he still appears to be completely open and clear! Yay! ENT said that as of now, Matt is officially done with their department unless something comes up to require them. Yay! Hopefully, that is the last time we will need to worry about his nasal airway!
In other news, he had an MRI earlier this month to check on a few things. His brain appears to be perfectly fine (we weren’t worried) and shouldn’t need additional follow up appointments for anything there, either. However, he DOES have a tethered cord. From the Wikipedia Tethered spinal cord syndrome page: “The spinal cord normally hangs loose in the canal, free to move up and down with growth and bending and stretching, a tethered cord is held taut at the end.”
As his spinal cord will be pulled on as his spine grows, this could cause problems for him, from pain through disabling problems such as loss of bladder function, numbness in the lower extremities, to the inability to walk. Clearly, it should be corrected, and sooner rather than later. (Some people take a “wait and see approach” to this problem, looking for problems in time and to see if it somehow corrects itself or is a misdiagnosis. We feel it would be best to take care of it as soon as possible.)
So, with that diagnosis, and our position on it, Matt is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 to correct his tethered cord. We don’t yet have all the information on recovery, but the basics are that Matt will spend some days in the hospital for post surgical recovery (we are not yet sure if this is something like two days or a longer stay) and then can come home and just be encouraged to be on bed rest, which isn’t a big deal, since he will only be six months old at that point, and is not yet walking or crawling. The prognosis for normal life after this point seems to be good, so we aren’t terribly concerned about long term effects of his tethered cord. (Granted, every surgery has risks, and everything has risks of complications, but we don’t expect any problems, and are looking to the time post-recovery.)
And now I cannot find the website that I liked best regarding Tethered cords, but if you want to read more about it, it seems that Children’s Hospital Boston has pretty good info on their site for Tethered Spinal Cord.
Matt is doing well in so many ways, though. He is wonderfully cute. He is very social and always smiles back at me when I smile at him. He also loves our living room ceiling fan and can watch and laugh at it for a long time. Here, take a look:
Now, be aware: the ceiling fan isn’t even running – it is perfectly still during this video. He just loves it, though!
Oh, and if you are reading this in an e-mail, be sure to click on the post title, or right here: Matt update for March 2012 to watch the video!