Sep 29, 2020 / Hip Disorders

Share Your Story: One Chance to Make it Right

Meet Harper, a patient seen by our experts in the Center for Excellence in Hip. Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Harper's mom, Miranda of Texarkana, TX. 

Harper is our third child and our only daughter. She has had an abnormal gait since she started walking, and even though this milestone was a little bit delayed, at every pediatric well child check when I asked about it, I was told her hips seemed fine and she likely had a tibial torsion. Just before she turned 4, I decided to make an appointment with a local orthopedist because she hasn’t “grown out of it.” After a round of X-rays, we found out that her left hip was dislocated. 
The local orthopedist in Texarkana referred us to a provider in Memphis as well as one in Texas. The doctor in Memphis knew that we were Texas residents and suggested that we see Dr. Podeszwa. He even helped set up the appointment for us. Our first appointment with Dr. Podeszwa at Scottish Rite for Children was back on September 30, 2019. After examining Harper, he recommended a Pemberton osteotomy for her left dislocated hip and possible future surgery for the right hip, as it also has hip dysplasia.
Dr. Podeszwa and his nurse Emily were wonderful about answering all of our questions. Harper had her hip surgery in October 2019. We were very nervous, but Dr. Podeszwa and the anesthesiologist helped ease our minds. Everyone that we encountered was wonderful. 
It was a tense four hours waiting for the surgery to end. We were updated halfway through the surgery, which was extremely reassuring. I also made a visit to the chapel during the surgery, and that helped to give me some peace. Right after the surgery ended, Dr. Podeszwa showed us her X-rays and felt confident that the procedure had been a success. Harper had a two-night stay at Scottish Rite, and everyone was amazing. We were really impressed with the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy teams. She loved visiting their activity room and she still talks about what they did with her. We also loved the dining staff and thought the food was great! 
During our stay, one of the therapists went out of her way to make a spica cast that was an exact replica of the cast Harper had been placed in. Harper had requested a “sparkly purple cast” and when Dr. Podeszwa came out of the OR to talk to us, I knew her cast was sparkly because he had remnants of sparkles on his face! 
We took her home and continued with follow-up appointments and X-rays. She had such a great attitude the seven weeks she was in the spica cast. Per nurse Emily’s suggestion, we had a special table built for her, so she could sit up and work on some of her preschool activities. The cast was removed a little bit before Christmas and on that same day, physical therapists started to work with her using a gait belt and a walker, to try and get her upright again. It took another couple of weeks before she was able to start taking steps on her own. About a month post cast removal, she started physical therapy.
She would go to physical therapy sessions and then when COVID-19 hit, we started to do her therapy at home. We would hike hills, ride bikes and run around outside.  

One day a couple months ago, she was stepping up on a stair and I told her to step with her surgery leg. She turned around and asked, “Why do you still call it my surgery leg? It’s my perfect leg.”

It was a tough and very emotional thing to go through, especially since she was a little old to be diagnosed. My husband is an ER physician and I’m a nurse practitioner, so we felt a lot of pressure to make the best decision for her care. We knew that we only had one chance to make it right. 
I’m so glad that we chose Scottish Rite and our family will forever be thankful to Dr. Podeszwa and his team. Scottish Rite is so special to us because Harper has now been given the chance for a life, hopefully free of pain and able to avoid early onset arthritis.
Watching her run and play, one would never know that she was just in a spica cast six months ago. She loves to ride bikes, swim and jump off the diving board, walk her dogs and play on the swing set. We will soon learn if she needs to have surgery on her other hip and I feel confident that whatever the decision may be, we will be able to handle it because of the confidence we have in the team at Scottish Rite. 



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