Oh, hi there! We have officially ended the first phase of recovery after Solly’s hip surgery. WOO HOO! On December 22, we had our second post-operative appointment with Solly’s medical team, and his X-rays looked perfect. We got the green light to start weight-bearing – and head back to physical therapy – with zero restrictions. It was such a relief and the best early Christmas present! The timing worked out perfectly for Solly to do a two week mini intensive at NAPA Center while their team was in between regular intensives, and the extra therapy has done wonders for Solly’s strength and confidence. He’s already back to army crawling, getting into an assisted four-point position, rolling with minimal assistance, and working so hard on standing on his new legs. At home, he’s been spending some time in his stander, going for daily bike rides, and doing short stints in his Trexo.
But, before I leave hip surgery in the past and start to focus too much on Solly’s rehabilitation, I wanted to touch on some of items that helped him recover at home immediately after surgery. In our experience, one of the most surprising parts in preparing for Solly’s hip surgery was the lack of at-home equipment suggestions the medical team provided for post-surgery. As a planner, this drove me bananas. I had no clue how we were supposed to support Solly overnight, where he would be spending his time during the day, or how transportation would look. I was even contemplating renting a wheelchair-accessible minivan to ensure we’d have enough room to accommodate Solly wearing a pillow wedge and leg immobilizers in a car seat. Fortunately, several Mamas answered my calls of distress when I took to social media to express my frustration and worries and provided suggestions of equipment to have on-hand, based on their own experiences. Here are the items that were the most helpful to us:
Solly has been using this particular adaptive stroller for a couple of years now, and it was been extremely helpful for positioning after not only hip surgery, but SDR as well. We used this chair in the house, at therapy, as an activity chair, and nearly every time we left the house. When looking for a wheelchair or chair to use post-surgery, I’d seek out something that reclines, tilts, and has a tray.
The Firefly Go To seat is another piece of equipment that we already had at home and we relied on it heavily after surgery. The hip surgery caused Solly to lose quite a bit of strength in his core, so, while he could sit up independently post-surgery, he struggled to find his balance and would often topple over. We used the Go To seat to allow him some floor play time and even when he was resting on the couch.
Given the combination of the abduction pillow wedge and leg immobilizers, I was unsure how we would safely transport Solly, let alone even get him comfortably into his car seat. The hospital physical therapist suggested this car seat, which has a super wide base and low arms. It was a perfect fit: we just moved the passenger seat forward in my SUV to ensure his legs had enough room. One caveat: this particular car seat does not have a 5-point harness, so if you’re looking to use this seat and need extra support, I’d check out the other Diono models to see if they have a similar wide base.
When I asked about what clothes Solly could wear, staff suggested we purchase pants a size or two too big, or cover his lower half in blankets. It was painful in the first few weeks for us to put Solly’s legs into pants or shorts and blankets weren’t curring it. These shorts unzip completely on either size, making it really easy to put on with a brace or cast.
Yet another recommendation from a fellow Mom, the Moon Pod was a favorite and comfortable place for Solly to chill and watch movies, read books, and play on his iPad. It contorts easily into any shape, so we were able to add extra pillow behind his body or in between his legs, depending on what he needed. We also purchased the crescent pillow from the same company, using it to support his weak trunk or to prop his upper body for tummy time.
This pillow was a recommendation from another Mama whose child had recently undergone surgery. In the days after surgery, and even sometimes now weeks later, Solly was extremely uncomfortable laying completely flat. His hip flexors get tight easily, so this pillow allowed for him to rest comfortably without putting too much strain on his hips. If needed, we’d also slightly raise his feet using a folded blanket to help him stay in a flexed position.
Up next is a few weeks of regular therapy plus homeschooling, and then we’ll be back to NAPA for an intensive in February. Solly also gets to go back to hippotherapy in February, so things will hopefully start feeling like our usual routine pretty soon. I’ll do my best to continue to document his recovery on his blog, but if you’re looking for a more regular look into his rehabilitation, be sure to follow us on Instagram.