What is recovery like after surgery?
If the child was immobilized in a hip spica cast, it is used for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. Imaging will be done with the cast on.
Management in the hospitalized patient includes stabilization from anesthesia, care and comfort, pain control, safe feeding and care giver education. The surgeon, nurse, case manager (if necessary) and a social worker (if necessary) can be involved in the discharge process. Caregiver discharge teaching includes: pain medication management, cast or splint care, appropriate bowel regimen, safe handling, skin care, incision site assessment, dressing care, gait training using equipment with a physical therapist, signs and symptoms of infection and other potential complications or issues associated with anesthesia and circumstances in which to call the orthopedic team. Another consideration before discharge is appropriate equipment (car seat, safety belt, wheelchair, walker) and transportation concerns. Anticipatory guidance for age appropriate activities during the immobilization period is discussed. Educational age appropriate activities need to be employed during the healing phase. The child life specialist can be available to meet with patients and families to provide suggestions. School age patients can receive homebound instruction until it is safe for the student to go back to school depending on the school’s accommodations. Clear information regarding the post-operative appointment should be scheduled and discussed.