Two Months Post-SPML

This Sunday will mark two months since we made the difficult decision to have Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening (SPML) surgery. We’ve been hard at work over the past two months, doing some intensive therapy as well as weekly hippotherapy, and, boy, are we seeing some great gains.

For those of you who know Solly personally, you might remember the “old” Solly as a little boy who could not stand or move his legs reciprocally.

This was Solly in April:

Last night, Mike “walked” Solly around the kitchen for a good 20 minutes so Solly could explore, open drawers and cabinets, and see the world from a new height. It was pretty amazing. I was on cloud nine watching Solly move around in ways I never thought would be possible given the level of tightness he had earlier this year.

This is something that we practice every day. We used to try to get Solly in his KidWalk daily before the surgery, but he grew increasingly frustrated in it because he couldn’t move the way he wanted to. Now, he can not only move in it but he enjoys the time he spends walking around in it.

Pretty cool, right?

An Intense Intensive

This week, Solly had his first ever PT intensive at Full Circle Therapy, the center where he does hippotherapy.

It was intense! (Seriously. Solly took a 4 hour nap yesterday!)

Each day started bright and early at 8am, which meant an even earlier wake up call than usual for Sol. Our goal for the week was to increase his mobility, so Jennifer, his PT, focused each day on activities to strengthen his hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, and all walking muscles, as well as other activities to bring awareness to these parts of his body. She used a combination of weight-lifting via pulleys, a Spider Cage, mechanical horse, treadmill, swing, and therasuit to target his walking muscles and core, quickly moving to a new activity when Solly started to appear “over it” to keep him interested and engaged. She also tried having him walk in his various braces with his KidWalk, a gait trainer, crutches, and with hands under his arms for support, all trying to trigger and activate different muscles and so he wouldn’t get stuck in one pattern.

It was fascinating, exhausting, and, in the end, SUPER productive. We went from Sol really struggling on Monday to engage his flexors to walk forward on the treadmill to him walking on his knees and feet with assistance under his arms on Friday. We have a long way to go, but now we understand that Solly’s issues with walking stem from a motor planning issue – his legs get stuck in extension and his brain has trouble telling them to break up any high tone to bend the knee. Jennifer sent us home with three simple PT activities to focus on over the next few months and, because we see her every week for hippotherapy, she can check in on his progress and help us makes tweaks. We’ll focus on those activities for walking until the end of October, when we travel to Tampa for a 3 week Therasuit intensive.

We are so thankful to have found Jennifer. She is very in tune with Solly’s needs and thinks the sky is the limit for him. We couldn’t agree more.

Here are some photos taken throughout the week:

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And my favorite video of reciprocal knee walking (!!!):