Despite the post title, today's ortho appointment was mostly good news.
We started off with x-Ray of M's hips--so much nicer than ultrasound! Shorter wait times, quick to take the images, and easier for everyone to see what they're looking for. And the images apparently looked pretty good. We still can't be 100% certain he is in the clear until he grows a bit more and more bone develops, but what is there now is in pretty good shape. She classified his right hip as A+ and the left one as a B- until we can see more...but that left one started off as failing, so that's a lot of improvement. It will be a few months before we have more x-Ray to check it out again.
For the feet, the verdict was that our stretching had made noticeable improvements (I need to put together a side by side image, because comparing where they are now to the beginning is quite striking!). There is still a possibility of avoiding serious surgery, which is great to hear. That means we need to go back to casts for a few weeks to see if we can get the feet turned the last little bit they need to, though, so that was a bit disappointing. The current plan is to try three weeks of casts and then hopefully move on to snipping the Achilles' tendons with a final cast to let that heal. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, we are back to the old routine of sponge baths, leg warmers, and disposable diapers. And also back to figure out how to get him the activity and gross motor skills he should be working on while in casts--most babies are out of casts by the time they start getting very active, but at 4.5 months M is working hard on skills like rolling, sitting, and chewing on his toes. The good news is his formerly underdeveloped quad muscles have apparently caught up to where they should be during his time off from casts. And tonight he demonstrated that he can still roll pretty well with the casts on.
Tummy time in casts takes some creativity, though, because of the positioning of the leg and possible pressure points. The physiotherapist we have been seeing suggested doing some tummy time on top of an exercise ball, and that has worked really well. The flexibility of the ball makes him more comfortable, and he still gets great practice pushing with his arms and craning his neck.
We will keep going with these old routines and I'm sure developing some new ones, too. As E said when he heard M was back in casts for a bit--"it will be ok, because after it's over he's going to RUN!"