George's last surgery went well. The orthopedist removed about five inches of bone that had grown into the knee, causing it to be locked. With the removal of the bone (called heterotopic ossification - say that five times fast), George has been able to bend his knee for the first time in months! Unfortunately, the MCL in his left leg was also affected, and part of it had to be removed, so there will be more surgery in the future to repair that, and in the meantime, George has to wear a large, hinged, knee brace for stability. However, he is progressing with his therapy. George has been able to take some steps with support, and he is working to restore range of motion is his left leg. He is still weak on his right side, probably due to the brain injury, and he is working to improve his strength and fine motor control.
The other issue George is facing is the lack of movement in his left arm. After visiting several orthopedists, it seems likely that the problem stems from an injury to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that originates in the spine and controls movement in the arm. This is an over simplified explanation, but something seems to be wrong with a few of the nerves, so George is unable to lift his arm at all. He will be undergoing a test called an EMG test, which is a diagnostic procedure to assess nerve and muscle function. After that, we will be seeking a consultation with a doctor who specializes in brachial plexus issues. We hope to have more answers about what is causing George to be unable to move his arm, and what treatment, if any, would be appropriate.
So, there is still a long way to go for George to regain his independence. I'll post again when we know more about the test results. Please keep us in your prayers. Nothing about this has been easy, and we are all trying to stay positive and work hard for George's recovery. The amount of progress he has made after such a catastrophic injury is nothing short of miraculous, and he continues to work with the in-home therapists several times a week. He should eventually be able to walk, and we are praying that there is an answer that will help him to regain use of his left arm.
Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for all of the love and support you have given us over the past 4 1/2 months. We are forever grateful.
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