Operation Day

The day of my daughter’s operation arrived and my husband and I awoke at 6 am, tired and anxious.

Our nerves had not been helped by a phone conversation with Bristol Children’s Hospital the night before.  My daughter had had contact with a friend’s daughter that week who had since come down with chicken pox.

There were concerns that the operation should not go ahead due to the risk that my daughter could a) come down with chicken pox following the operation and risk her health, and b) that my daughter could become infectious during her stay in hospital and risk the health of other sick children.

Much as I had been worrying about it, the operation was essential to treat her dislocated left hip and shorter left leg due to Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (also known as Congenital Hip Dysplasia).  I had built myself up for it and was as prepared for it as I could ever be.  The thought that it might not go ahead at the eleventh hour was horrible.

However, the contact that my daughter had had with the child with chicken pox actually worked in our favour.  On arriving to the ward, we were told that the operation would go ahead but that she would be kept in isolation throughout the duration of her stay in hospital.  This meant that instead of being on a ward with other children, we would instead have our own room and en suite bathroom!

After talking to the registrar and anaesthetist and signing the consent forms, we waited for when it was time for my daughter to go to theatre.  When the nurse arrived to collect us I just about managed to hold it together on the walk down.

However, I asked my husband to be the one to go into pre-theatre with her as I knew I would not be able to do this part of the journey without being a sobbing mess.  I instead waited in the corridor outside and cried.  Once she was safely in theatre, we went to a cafe across the road from the hospital for breakfast and began our wait.

Nearly four hours later we received the news that the operation had gone well and that my daughter had had to have an ‘open reduction’ of her left hip.

I will try to explain this in my non-medical way.  Tendons in her groin had been cut through to reach her hip and a lot of scar tissue cut away.  Because of the difference in leg length, there had been muscle shortening which had to be rectified.  The dislocated left hip was then put back in socket.  Finally a Spica cast had been put on her from her chest to her ankles.


When I was told I could see my daughter, I went to recovery to greet my little swollen bundle in her plaster cast, groggy but well.

I was SO happy to see her:-)Please read my post ‘Spica Cast Change Day and a Halfway Point’.

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6 responses to “Operation Day

  1. Bless her. How long will she be in the cast? That must be so hard for her as a toddler to be so restricted. 😦 Thinking of you and glad the operation went well and praying for a really quick recovery for your little girl.

  2. Hi Lifeofanespatparent, thank you for your good wishes! She will be in her spica cast for 4 months. She doesn't seem to mind the cast too much at the moment, which is good. All being well when she comes out of plaster she will be as good as new 🙂 x

  3. Oh bless her, hope she has a speedy recovery. Apparently doctors wanted to do the same op on me at the same age but my parents refused. Not really sure of the ins and outs of why they wanted to do it!

  4. Thanks Karen! She is doing well, better than we expected this early though gets frustrated not being able to move anywhere. Glad the op is out of the way, now we are on the way up x

  5. My daughter's DDH was also found at 15 months old. She had surgery in Nov and came out of spica at the end of Jan. She's now in a brace and we're slowly weaning her out of it. It's tough – but you will be amazed at your daughter. My daughter was crawling in her spica in a matter of weeks and standing unassisted in it at the end. She can now walk in her brace. It's quite the sight. Hugs to your baby.

  6. Hi Michelle, I have just been reading through my old posts and have just seen your message, sorry I am very late replying to it! Thank you for your good wishes. My daughter has been out of her cast for a few months now and is doing very well. You were right, when she was in her cast towards the end, she could drag herself around and even pull herself up holding onto furniture! Hope your little girl is doing really well nnow. X

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