Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bowed Arms Are A Result of Radial Head Dysplasia


Thank you everyone for your comments and emails regarding my last post about Reid's bowed arms. I took Reid to the orthopedist to have the Dr. look at his arms....and what we found was that it appears to be skeletal and not just muscular as we had thought. It turns out his little bones did not develop correctly in utero in that his radius is out of place...The doctor said it is called Radial Head Dysplasia resulting in the inability to supinate (inability to turn palms straight up). I attached two x-rays showing his left arm and one with the Dr.'s markings as to where the radius really should be located (both of his arms have "dysplasia"). The Dr. felt that Reid will most likely accommodate his mechanical loss of supination with shoulder and hand motion but wants us to also check in with another specialist in his field who he believes to have more experience with this type of presentation. As it looks now we basically have two options...do nothing and watch and see how he does or we could do surgery when he got a little older called a forearm derotational oseotomy. As the last few days have gone by and we've continued our research more questions have come up for us and so we have decided to go for the second opinion to further clarify if there is anything we need to be doing occupationally to help him since there are sensitive ligaments and soft tissue that may still need stretching. We have also found that if we do go down the surgical road it is better to do it at a younger age than older...and also found that the "bowing" tends to become more noticeable around 2 years of age which explains why it came on our radar again. But...then on the other hand we have also found people who have lived with this their whole life and commented that it did not affect them in any way, except one said he had a hard time bowling. Aghhh....that was nice to hear. If not being able to bowl is the worst of it...then we are in good shape. :) So, for now we watch our cute little bowed armed Reid and help him to accommodate the best he can while we wait to get into the other specialist.
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12 comments:

Mel said...

Wow. Good on you for asking questions and great to get a second opinion too. Good luck with your decision making :) Reid is super cute, by the way!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Good information and overall great news! You are doing a great job of keeping on top of it and figuring out all the info. You will make the best decision after all of that! High five to you Mama!!!

Heather said...

I for one cannot wait to get my hands on that little bow armed darling on Tuesday!No offense,just cannot wait!!See you then.

My name is Sarah said...

Cheri this is Joyce. Thank you for posting this and including the photos - very informative. I personally have not heard of anyone having this as you describe but I am wondering how many others just get dismissed as it being a Ds thing and not being taken seriously. I think it is always good to get the real information even if it does mean making more decisions. Good luck.

Michelle said...

My goodness, those x-rays are crazy. Well that explains it all! Hope you can figure out what is best for the little man. So you are going to see Heather and Zoey Tuesday...jealous for both of you...oh Cali, I wish I were there! :)

Cheri said...

Michelle...I wish you were here too! :)

jenhiatt said...

Keep us posted. Zach has a trigger finger. While totally unrelated to what you guys are dealing with, we too had the option to operate, or just see how it goes. At this point we are just letting it go. The less amount of time he has to go under, the better, in my opinion.

KIMBERLY said...

I HAVE LIVED WITH BOWED ARMS ALL OF MY LIFE AND NEVER THOUGHT ANYTHING WAS WRONG UNTIL I LEARNED THAT I WAS DIFFERENT. AND STILL NO ONE NOTICED UNTIL I HAD TO GET CHANGE BACK AT THE STORES OR SOMEONE WANTED TO GIVE ME SOMETHING THAT REQUIRED ME TURNING UP MY PALMS. HE WILL FIND HIS OWN WAY. I HAVE A DAUGHTER WITH THE SAME CONDITION.

shannon said...

Thank you. I stumbled across this page. I have a rare bone disease called osteogenesis imperfect (oi). Which is also known as brittle bones. Anywho, this disease can cause bones to bow in a non normal way. I have been having major problems with my forearm going numb and cold. It is also very tender. I have been seeing my surgeon for a few months talking to him about the strange feelings and weakness and I couldn't figure out the name of it and I found it on here. I think the bowing of my arm is causing my radius and ulna to dislodge from the area it is supposeto be. Now I know how to explain it better and I thank you. P.s. your boys are wonderful and they are lucky to have you, or you are lucky to have them, how ever you see it you need each other.
Bless you and your family.
Shannon

carl said...

I have had bowed arms my whole life. It has never gotten in the way of anything i've done. I played baseball in my youth,never a problem. I lifted weights for many years,no problem. I am now 52 years old and I believe I am getting the beginning stages of arthritis in my left elbow. With that being said,at this time I would advise against surgery. It just doesn't warrant going under the knife. It's not that big a deal. Your son will be fine. Good luck.

carl said...

I have had bowed arms my whole life. I played lots of baseball,was very sports oriented,and lifted weights for many years. Now at 52 I believe I'm getting the beginning stages of arthritis in my left elbow. With that being said,I would advize against surgery. It's not worth going under the knife for. It's really not a big deal. Everything will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just bumped into your blog as I was searching information on radial head dysplasia. My two year old daughter also has RHD. I had never met anyone with the condition, so I've been searching like crazy for as much info as possible on it. Emi's orthopedic told us the same thing. It's a wait and see. They don't like to operate unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. As long as there isn't a substantial amount of pain or limitations on range of motion, they rather just let it be. Emi has had no issues adjusting to her limitations. She doesn't have Down's, however, she was born at 25 weeks... weighing 1.5 lbs. This along brings many issues. She's struggles with several delays, but is catching up with them at her own pace. Only time will tell how RHD will affect her. I don't foresee any issues. Thanks for sharing your journey! :)