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6 year old broke C2 odontoid peg

Please can anybody offer me any advice, comfort or share a similar story as I feel quite alone. My beautiful daughter broke her neck at C2 three years ago and had a very scary time in hospital as after 5 weeks in a collar, another CT scan showed that the bone wasn't healing well and that it had moved considerably. She was rushed into a different hospital and had a halo fitted, she didn't go into the halo jacket as the bones had started healing in the wrong position and so she had to lay flat in halo traction for two weeks. The bone eventually healed after another 2 months but the position didn't improve.
She is incredibly lucky that she kept all her motor skills and to look at her you wouldn't know what had happened. She suffered from extreme anxiety verging on agoraphobia for a couple of years but we are virtually clear after counselling.
She suffers from neck pain and back pain. She is back at physio as she has been holding herself in a bod position for 3 years and her shoulders are over developed, she has little core strength and suffers from pain almost every day.
My over-riding fear is her hurting herself again. We have been told that any further accident eg whiplash is v dangerous to her and my husband and i have to work hard to keep our fears from her.
We restrict what she does eg no theme parks, gymnastics, sledging etc. I would love to hear from other people of any experiences at high school as this stage if her life really worries me - should she play sports like netball?? What activities are safe? How does it affect the child if they are different etc. We are constantly torn between keeping her safe and allowing her to lead a normal life.
Is the bone likely to break again? Is she likely to develop arthritis in it as she gets older?
Sorry for so many questions etc, I would love to hear from anyone. Thanx


  • I can't imagine what you and your husband are going through. It has to be horrifying to watch your child, especially a young child go through this not to mention the worry about her future.

    I have never had a neck injury or surgery, so I can't offer any comments about that... I do have a few comments about other things.

    Core Strength: Press for her to continue the PT until you feel like her posture has improved. It might take awhile for her muscles to "relearn" and strengthen, but it will be worth it in the end. Hopefully you have found a great PT that encourages her and that she looks forward to seeing. Does she like the water? If so aqua therapy would be worth looking into!

    Physical Differences of School Age Kids: This all depends on her attitude and what you instill in her. I was in 4th grade (so 3 years or more older) when I went through my first spine surgery. I couldn't do PE that year, had to quit dancing that year, etc. My parents made sure I had other activities I could do for socialization. Look into clubs at your daughter's school, church events (if you are religious), even Girl Scouts. I feel like I lived a very normal life (including some sports) and I pray she will too. I will tell you that as a teacher I have seen many students with various physical disabilities, and their quality of life as well as friendships seemed to be directly linked to their attitudes. I had one 7th grader who was born with issues with his legs. He had both legs amputated about mid thigh as an infant. As a result he was constantly at doctors/specialist due to rapid growth during childhood he was constantly getting "new legs." Once in the hallway he took a bad spill. One leg went one way an one leg went another. I watched horrified. Before I could get to him one student had grabbed one leg, one student had grabbed another, and a third larger student was hoisting him up under his arms as the other two stuffed his legs under his shorts. By the time I got there he was adjusting his legs under neath him and they all four were laughing. The funny part was later that day in class I made the comment to him, "good thing your friends were near by!" and he said, "Oh I didn't know them, but we ate lunch together today!"
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 11/18/2013 - 8:03 PM
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thank you both. I have never used a forum before and so I have now read all the links - thank you. I will improve I promise.
    Thank you allmetal - she is in lots of different groups including guiding etc to help her confidence etc. She is a coper and gets on with life most of the time, I think we sometimes find it harder than her as we hate to watch her in pain and worry about her future. We always try and remember how lucky we are to still have her but sometimes it's hard. Thank you again, I appreciate your post x
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