We were told that they were performing a fixation of the C1 and C2, this means two small screws in either side and a small titanium plate joining them up to keep them perfectly straight. This means that she won't be able to turn her neck as much as before. I'm sure she will cope, she hasn't been able to turn her neck for the last ten months anyway. We were also told that she might need a further plate on the occipital joint at the base of her skull which means that she wouldn't have been able to look up or down either. Again, she hasn't been able to look up or down for the past 10 months. However, once in there they decided that they wouldn't need the plate on the occipital joint. They were not happy with the C1 on the left side, the bone that had deteriorated, so they performed a bone graft from her skull and added it to the C1 to give it more strength.
We had been told that if they were happy with the fixation then she would not need the halo back on, however, because they had to do the bone graft she needs the halo back on until it fuses, so it will be around six to eight weeks before it comes off. Such a shame, we'd have liked to have been rid of it.
Lucy was back on the ward by 7 p.m. and she was really sleepy from the anaesthetic and the morphine. She had a drip for fluids and a catheter, so no need ot move or bother her, she just had to sleep it off. And sleep she did, all night and all day today. She did wake for short periods, but struggled to stay awake and went straight back to sleep. She woke in the night during obs. and wanted to be turned over. She became quite distressed so the nurse pushed her morphine button. She had morphine constantly pumped into her but she also had a button to give her a little extra if in pain.
She got a bit panicky when they came to take her blood. She has developed a real hatred of needles. Then she was distressed when taken for a CT scan but only because they had to move her from her bed to a trolly and back again. In between being moved she was ok. She says she is not in pain, but I think that proves that she is hurting.
Tomorrow, she should be more alert and we will need to move her, at least get her sitting up. She also has to have the halo vest altered because it's too high up.
Her stitches will be removed in ten days time.
Overall, it all went well. They didn't hit any problems other than her suffering a big loss of blood and having to have quite a hefty transfusion.
We have to hope now that it has all been worthwhile and her head stays upright. She will never be able to move her neck normally, but at least she will be safe, comfortable and hopefully pain free.