Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adducted thumbs

Tyler was born with adducted thumbs, which means his thumbs are clasped inside of his palm and the thumbs do not extend out. This is one of the symptoms of his genetic diagnosis of L1 Syndrome.

Due to his thumbs being adducted, it causes issues with him performing simple tasks, such as, grabbing and holding onto things, feeding himself, and even when he uses his hands to prop sit. Tyler is able to bring his thumbs out a little and grab small objects, so his hands are not completely useless. He is still able to maneuver his wheelchair, grab a spoon, grab small toys, etc. But just think of what he could do if he had full function of his thumbs. He would be able to use a pincer grasp, he could possibly feed himself a cookie without him crumbling it inside of his hand. The possibilities are endless.

So this past Friday, Tyler had reconstructive surgery on his left thumb. We thought it would be best to do one hand at a time, so he wouldn't be completely out of commission for the 5 weeks he would be in a cast. The doctor planned to do a tendon transfer, web deepening and place a pin to hold the thumb out. The pins would be removed after 5 weeks. 

The surgery was successful and the doctor was able to get his thumb out. But he was not able to find a good enough tendon to transfer to his thumb. We were sort of afraid of that. Since they were not able to do the tendon transfer, one of the joints in his thumb will be more stiff and will not have full range of motion. He should still be able to have the pincer grasp and the thumb will still be out. Even though we didn't get the best case scenario, it was still successful and Tyler should be able to have better use of his thumb, which was the reason for doing the surgery. The true test will be in 5 weeks and the weeks to follow once the cast is removed and he starts using it. 

Before surgery.

Getting snuggles before surgery. 

After surgery.

He was pretty mad about having another cast. But at least this one isn't as bad as to when he had his hip surgery.

His doctor also has a blog. He writes about different cases he has done and actually posted about Tyler about a month ago. Click on the link below to read more of the medical terms of his condition.