Aug 05, 2020 / Hand Conditions

Share Your Story: Courageous Chloe

Meet Chloe, a patient who is treated by our experts in the Center for Excellence in Hand. Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Chloe's mother, Karen, of Argyle, TX.

When Chloe was just 14 months old, a medical mistake caused compartment syndrome in her left wrist and forearm. Compartment syndrome is a pretty rare condition that occurs when a large amount of pressure builds up inside a muscle compartment. Compartments are groups of muscle tissue, blood vessels and nerves in your arms and legs that are surrounded by a very strong membrane called the fascia. Fascia does not expand, so swelling in a compartment can result in an increase in pressure inside the compartment. This results in injury to the muscles, blood vessels and nerves inside the compartment. 

In order to save her arm, Chloe had to have an emergency fasciotomy. And then after several months, she was able to start occupational therapy. The muscles needed to turn her wrist from side to side (like opening a door handle) and the muscles allowing the wrist to bend back (like carrying a tray) sustained irreparable damage. Early on, the pediatric orthopedist told us her injury would require additional surgeries and our pediatrician recommended we take Chloe to Scottish Rite for Children. It is comforting, as a parent, to know your child is receiving the best medical care in the world – Scottish Rite has been such an incredible blessing to our family.  

The first time we entered Scottish Rite, we were greeted by a volunteer, who we also knew from our church. He had a big smile on his face and offered to give us a tour of the hospital, which we were thrilled to take. Everything at Scottish Rite is designed specifically for children – it is amazing. The colors are bright and fun. Every volunteer and employee you see has a smile on their face and the popcorn machine in the lobby lends a carnival type vibe.  

Never once has Chloe been scared or apprehensive about going to Scottish Rite and has never had white coat syndrome.

Doctors and nurses always speak directly to her. She is given choices about her treatment and her questions are answered honestly.

Through the years, she has had surgeries performed by Dr. Ezaki, Dr. Oishi and Dr. Stutz. Occupational therapists Amy Lake and Lindsey Ham are amazing.

As Chloe grows, the bones in her wrist and arm lengthen, but the muscles and tendons don’t. This causes her wrist to pull down and become uncomfortably tight. Push-ups, cartwheels and anything that requires her wrist to bend backward hurts her. She sleeps in a splint to stretch out the wrist and help keep it straight.

This year, her wrist really started to droop and become very tight. She tried wrist extension casting for six weeks in January and February, hoping to delay another surgery. It worked great for a few months, but then she had another tremendous growth spurt and the wrist pulled down tightly again this summer. She did wrist extension casting for five weeks before surgery to stretch her muscles.

Her latest surgery included a release of the left forearm fascia, lengthening of tendons, removal of scar tissue and a Z plasty. This happened on July 19 – right when COVID virus stories were all over the news. We were never worried, as the precautions and cleanliness of the hospital and staff are evident.  

Chloe is doing well and is looking forward to swimming again! Her cast will be off around the time school begins – she is excited to start middle school this year. She knows that she will have more therapy, wrist extension casting and even more surgery in the future. This will continue to take place until she stops growing, so she knows that the end is coming within a few years.

Chloe has a great attitude and knows that she is very fortunate. She does not experience nerve pain, her fine motor skills are great in her left hand and her hand and fingers are strong. We are so incredibly grateful to the doctors and all the members of the hand service team at Scottish Rite in Dallas and Frisco.  



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