what to expect from a bone graft???

Crystal - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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my seven year old is having surgery in march on his upper gum line (a bone graft) and having his left nostril 'reshaped' and i'm wondering if any of you have gone through this and know what to expect. i don't exactly know how to prepare him for this and have had a hard time getting info on the healing process and how painful of procedure it is in relation to other cleft repairs. thanks for your input!!

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DeEtte - posted on 07/07/2012

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Hi. I don't know if you've already had surgery (Tina), but my daughter had bone graft surgery a couple years ago just before she turned 7. I can't compare skull / hip because I don't know anything about skull. But she had the graft from her hip. Mouth was fine - some bruising, but not painful. Hip was very sore. One night in hospital and she had a pain pump attached by small catheter directly in her hip. That was removed the next morning and she had to get up and walk before we went home. She did, but not happily. The first week was the hardest as it really did hurt. For her walking was okay after the first couple days. But it was moving from standing to sitting or sitting to standing that hurt. But after the first week, I was having to tell her "NO - you can't turn cartwheels yet!" so she recovered fairly quickly. Month of no soft food which was a pain, but as she's not picky it wasn't too bad. Keepnig her inactive *after* she felt better was a challenge - lots of video games, movies, crafts, etc. Good luck if it hasn't happened yet!

Angela - posted on 01/28/2010

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Crystal,

My son will be 13 next month and he had the same surgery around the same age. I remember being scared to DEATH because they were talking about taking the second layer of his skull to place in his mouth and then they were talking about using a foreign substance in his mouth and how his body could reject it...PLUS, I was more worried about him being mentally prepared for it. For some reason I didn't think he had remembered past surgeries...BUT! He totally surprised me!



My son was only allowed to eat a soft diet for like two weeks, but after that he ate what he wanted. His face was HUGE! It totally threw me for a loop! I didn't think a person's face (cheek area) could swell up and be even with their nose, but his did. I have to admit, he was a scary site for most people.



But as far as pain? I'm really not sure. I was amazed that he never wanted to take anything for pain. I told him that if he didn't take it, that he would end up hurting and it would take a while for the medicine to kick in, but he still refused.



His swelling went down after about a week and that was with following the doctor's orders to a T! But, he was his same old happy go lucky self! He never complained about hurting or anything.



My son's surgeon is Dr. David Matthews in Charlotte, NC. If you would like, you can look him up and contact his office. He is a part of Operation Smile that goes over seas. I'm sure someone in his office could send you something to give you an idea. He is GREAT about stuff like that!



If you ever need someone to talk to, just look me up on fb. I'll be more than happy to help if I can. I hope this helps!

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[deleted account]

Hi DeEtte and other moms,
Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences with me. From what I heard, taking the bone from the hip is the most common choice. The only devasting thing is that we just recently found out that our HMO insurance won't cover the bone graft surgery. We'll not be able to change it to PPO until October. Even then, we don't know that it will cover this type of surgery or not. We heard about CcS (California) and are applying for it. As a single mom, I am making more than their income bracket but we are being hopeful. We don't want to expect the worst when CCS denies us and the PPO doesn't cover as well. Does any mom out there know any other resources and willing to share. We would love to hear from you and hopefully that will point us to the right direction. We would appreciate it very much.
As always, thank you for any information you can give me.
Sincerely,
Tina

Jo - posted on 07/29/2012

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hi, my son is 7 and going for the bone graft in august reading your stories (life) has really helped thank-you

[deleted account]

Hi Angela and other moms,
My 9 year old son is going to have his bone graft surgery soon. We don't know either taking the bone from the skull or the hip is a better option but we plan on asking his doctor. Hopefully someone from this forum can help with advice.
Thank you for sharing your story because it helps us anticipate what is upcoming. Thanks for all the moms out there.
Tina.

Erica - posted on 01/31/2011

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My daughter is scheduled for her bone graft in March. The doctor said that she will feel no pain in her mouth but will have some pain in her hip when she walks. Good luck!

Joana - posted on 12/07/2010

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Hi! My son had a bone graft last year and will have another one soon. The first time the surgeons took bone from his hip. It was day surgery and he recovered in a few days. The graft took and he looks so much better now. His nostril still needs more work so he will have another surgery soon. This time the bone graft will be taken from his rib, but it will be a day surgery again. Pain medicine helped him rest and he did OK. Stay positive!

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