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Henry’s story part nine – Pain management

Henry - looking forward to Christmas and trading his frame for a castHenry’s foot is still infected so he’s back on the antibiotics! With Henry scheduled to get his frame off early in January, I think the plan now is to just to keep him on the antibiotics until then.

The infection started on the right side of his foot but must have travelled across the actual pin, as the pin site on the left side is also now inflamed. Henry is not impressed as he was really hoping to go to hydrotherapy.

We’ve stopped doing the turns on his frame now the over-correction of his foot has been achieved. It’s made things easier not having to do the turns, as previously we had to think ahead and take the spanner out with us, if we were going to be out and about at the times the turns were due.

It’s also meant we’ve been able to scale back some of the pain medication we’ve had to give Henry.

He’s been on regular pain relief – Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and Codeine – since his operation. When we found out about the turns stopping we were advised to reduce his Codeine first, dropping the doses in the day first and then dropping the night time dose, then to scale back the Ibuprofen and Paracetamol last. We managed to stop the day doses of Codeine with no problem, but regretted dropping the night dose; Henry woke in the night crying in pain and it took ages to calm him down. I had to give him Paracetamol and Codeine and hug him for a while before he’d settle back to sleep – not much sleep for either of us that night! I felt awful!

I know we were advised to do it, but I felt like I was the one responsible for causing him that pain. When I told Alison (Orthopaedic Nurse Specialist) about it when we went to clinic, she advised just to keep the Codeine going for now as it’s only a matter of weeks before the frame comes off.

I still can’t believe the frame is coming off soon! Having his leg in a plaster cast for 6 weeks will be a doddle after the frame and I’m sure Henry will be much more comfortable. It will also mean that in the new year Henry will be able to go back to school full time, as he’s only been doing mornings recently.

Mr Nayagam explained in the last clinic appointment that when Henry has his plaster changed after 3 weeks, that they’ll take a mould of his foot and leg to make splints for him – one for in the day with the foot in the ‘normal’ position and one for night with the foot in the ‘overcorrected’ position. I know splints were mentioned at the very start but I had obviously forgotten about the night time splint as that came as a bit of a surprise. But again, compared to the frame I can’t see a splint causing Henry too many problems!

Henry’s thoughts

It’s nearly the Christmas holidays! I went to a Christmas party with my friends and we had lots of cake and Christmas crackers. We were playing a superheroes game. My friends are used to my frame now, so no one was asking questions.

I’m going to get my frame off in January and it will be cool getting my frame off and I’ll be getting a cast on my leg. I’ll have to stay in hospital for one day – it’s good that I won’t have to sleep in the hospital because you don’t get much sleep. I hope when I get my splints that I can have one with footballs and football boots on, because the last time I just had footballs, which was wrong.

Henry’s story continues in the new year. You can read previous parts of the story here.

Sarah works at Alder Hey and is telling hers and Henry’s story to help raise awareness of Bilateral Talipes (club feet). If you enjoyed reading this, or if you are a parent in a similar situation, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Your comments

  • I’m 11 years old and I had external fixation. Thank you Alder Hey!

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