Thursday, December 09, 2010

Misfortune Pronated

This past Monday, my son, or "The Upgrade" as I call him, had an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist. It turns out he has a congenital condition in his left arm called Radioulnar Synostosis. What that means is that his radius and ulna are fused together at their upper end. This prevent him from rotating his arm past 90 degrees, or supinating it at all. It's uncorrectable, so he'll never have full range of motion in that arm.

It hit me at a really rough time. I'm still dealing with regret about not living with him 24/7 since his mom and I broke up, it's the holidays and I'm struggling to afford any gifts for him, and now, I get to wonder if my crappy genetics brought this on him.

Still, he's such a happy, active 5-year-old, and such a loving, considerate child, I think he's more of a comfort to me than I to him at this point.


  1. I don't want to give you false hope, but when I was young I had something similar: the bones weren't fused, but my radius was growing into the ulna. It got worse as time went on, to where I could only extend my arm about 90 degrees with no wrist supination. At about age 12, after several visits to doctors who said nothing could be done, a specialist went in, cut the radius and re-placed it so it would grow parallel to the ulna.

    Now I have full extension of my arm, but only about 45 degrees of supination. The arm is about an inch shorter than the other one, but that's not a huge deal.

    Maybe it's not the same thing, but maybe a similar approach will work for your boy.

    OT: shouldn't you be calling the lad Upgrayedd?

  2. Sounds similar, but in this case, it's not that they grew together, it's that they never grew apart -- During in utero development, the two bones start out as one, and a series of cells between them die off, separating them. The process didn't finish in his arm. The PO doctor told us about the surgery, recommended against it because of the failure rate. He consulted an even more expert doctor up at Shriner's in Portland who agreed, but I plan to talk to a doctor that someone recommended up at Children's in Seattle, and see what he says.

    For once you've made a pun that's over my head.