In a recent article in the Huffington Post, a mother detailed how she parents her child with congenital limb deficiency. Jill Robbins of the Huffington Post tells her story in a recent article titled “Parenting a Limb Difference Kid.”
Robbins writes, “Early in our ‘paper pregnancy,’ we got a list of different needs and conditions. We had to check boxes to indicate if we’d be open to certain issues. Listed was ‘limb differences.’ Having no clue what that meant, I summoned my private physician, Dr. Google. I learned:
…congenital (born with) absence or malformation of limbs. May result from injury or disease requiring amputation. The causes of congenital limb differences are frequently unknown…
I thought “we could handle that” and checked the box. A few weeks later, I was staring at a picture of a seventeen month-old boy whose special need was ‘congenital hand abnormality.’ I fell hard for this kid in the picture. And here I am. So, what’s life with a limb difference kid like? My son is 4 now. He’s missing his right hand (he has a stub and four finger nubs). ‘Get down!’ and ‘Don’t touch!’ fly out of my mouth about 60 trillion times a day. No different from any other mom of a small terror, I mean boy, hmm? The hardest thing about parenting a limb difference kid is managing my reactions to people’s stares or comments. Kids are curious. They want to look, ask ‘why,’ and know if ‘it’s an owie’ (most adults can figure out it’s a congenital thing). Kids take my explanation of: ‘This is how he’s made’ at face value and press on, scaling the jungle gym or trying to take back whatever toy my little grabber just swiped from them (sigh, we’re working on that).”
If you’re considering congenital limb surgery for your child, your best bet is Dr. Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. Dr. Moulton Barrett is an internationally known and acknowledged surgeon who holds the rare distinction of being board certified in two distinct surgical specialties, The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
When it comes to congenital limb surgery, accurate understanding of the involved anatomy leads to better clinical results. The radiographs we obtain after ossification of the involved bones allow us to produce a definitive treatment of the duplicated parts and all associated abnormalities. With these types of descriptions, we can make an earlier diagnosis and correction of this abnormality, which will lead to better outcomes.
You can be certain that your child’s surgery will be based on their exact condition. This surgery may involve carefully cutting through or around bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and other tissues to remove the extra digit. After that, the surgeon may need to move or reconnect some structures before closing the skin so the whole hand or foot works well and looks normal.
If you’re considering congenital limb surgery for your child, contact Dr. Moulton-Barrett for a consultation.