So it has been quite the journey to get all of our medical care set back up and functioning after this move, and I have learned quite a few lessons- for the next move. Sigh.
We were finally able to get a referral for a consult on Jarvis’ thumbs. I last gave an update over a year ago, stating that we were going back in the summer for another set of x-rays and a consult. We did do that in Minot, and although that doctor recommended we go ahead with surgery fairly soon, when he found out we were moving in October, he suggested we just wait and get a second opinion.
We were referred to see an orthopedic surgeon at the National Children’s Hospital in DC. We were very impressed with the facility and the doctor. The surgeon was straight-forward and not ‘surgery-happy.’ They did the quickest x-rays we have ever had in office and the doctor (who for the first time in our experience had actually SEEN another case of triphalangeal thumbs!) was very optomistic. He confirmed that Jarvis has a mild case and said that his bones look very good. He thinks the slight curvature (more in the right hand than left) is due to cartilage pulling the bones slightly. He thinks that rather than getting worse, this cartilage will harden with age (as to be expected) and stay the same. He was impressed with how Jarvis used his thumbs and did not see any issues. He also mentioned that if in a few years or whenever, we decide to have the surgery done, that he will use a technique that simply shortens one of the bones and will not be too hard for him to adapt to.
We had all of our concerns addressed and feel good about our choice right now! Jarvis has a very good use of his thumbs and we actually feel they will be a benefit to him in the long run. We still feel that surgery simply for cosmetic reasons is not the right choice for Jarvis or our family for many reasons.