Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Physical Therapy and balance beams!

Lucy was a shining star (again) today in therapy!  
Now that Lucy is walking, she is ready to take on the world... and by the world, I mean every single adult, child, toy, book, chair- anything in her way she is climbing on, pulling on, running over... all while using her new found voice and saying 'I SEE!' 
Remember a few posts ago, I told you how our therapist said the 'trunk' and core muscles are related to speech and volume?  Well, Lucy's must be getting stronger because she is LOUD!  The other morning she was up at 2:30 in the morning... why?!  To talk, of course!  She was SO LOUD... I even turned the monitor off and could still hear her babbling away for hours... Heck... can I complain?!  Nope.  There is no one in the world I would rather hear babbling at 2:30 am... :)
Anyways, on to the therapy today...
Once again, Hilary (the Physical Therapist) was so impressed by Lucy's weekly progress.  
Our challenges at the moment are: 
1.  Her gait is still wide.  It's getting better, and will improve, but we are working on bringing her legs in closer together while she walks.
2.  Weight shifting.  Again, this is the BIGGEST thing after hip surgeries of any age!  
Lucy prefers to start off with her left foot.  (the 'bad' side.)  I thought that was a good thing... well, it's not!  Hilary said we need to force her to put weight over the left side, meaning starting with the right!  Confusing, I know.  She said just to force her to do the opposite of what she is doing. :-)  This is why SO many kids have a slight limp after surgeries... When the muscles are not worked properly, stretched properly, and in different directions, it throws off the alignment of the body.  
Even through these last few months of PT, Lucy is STILL tight in some of her muscles.  I mean, come on... a hip cast and being totally immobile for 16 weeks, what can you expect??  Also, in Lucy's surgery, the adductor tendon was 'released' aka 'spliced' to lengthen it, to release the bone to be put back in place.  That has to all be re-worked now that it's in a new place... Won't happen overnight, but man... it's way more in depth than I thought... 
We did a lot of work on the balance beam today... Of course, Lucy loved it.  She got to take balls to the basket via the balance beam.  Then she got to 'jump' off with the therapist and LOVED it!  The balance beam is going to teach her to walk with her legs closer together.  Again, working the muscles.  (Adduction muscles I believe they are called.) 
While on the balance beam, Hilary pointed out what Lucy was doing.  It is another example of weight shifting, or lack thereof.  She will take a huge step with her left foot, then a smaller step with her right.  Then a HUGE step with her left, small with the right.  To be on the balance beam and swing that right leg around requires a huge weight shift over the left part of the pelvis.  Again, so many kids have a limp because of this!  She isn't strong enough yet, but she will be!  I am going to have Aaron make Lucy a balance beam next week, and we will be all over that sucker every morning!  
So all in all, another great week... I feel like we learn so much every time we go to therapy with her.  I also think we got lucky to get such a great therapist.  She has been a God send to us!  Again, I can't recommend PT enough.  If your child has had a hip surgery- DON'T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE!  Find a pediatric therapy clinic and go.
Have a great rest of the week, and think of us melting here in Phoenix!  High of 104 today!!!!  

Here is the babe getting ready to go up the balance beam

We went to a local high school yesterday and did the stairs!  We practice going up- starting with the right... then starting with the left.  Then going down, lowering with the right- then with the left.  Lateral movement is SO important!

Getting ready to jump off!  WEEEE!  Another great sensory thing for Lucy, feeling the ground on her feet after a soar in the air!  Of course, she can't really jump yet, but Hilary would lift her and fly her through the air and have her land on her feet. :-)

More balance beam work to work her adductor muscles and narrow her gait

Stairs at PT  Why she loves these so much, I have no idea... 

Obstacle course.  She had to step over each beam and hula hoop starting with the right foot... Weight shift!

Her reward after doing the stairs yesterday!

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