Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Night Splint Plan

First of all, thank you for your responses re: night splints.  As for those of you who are wondering what plan of action I'm following, it's like this (please keep in mind, we've been doing this for a total of three days):

1.  I had a plan, more or less, to have E wear her braces at night long enough to warrant a real trial.  I figured if she wore night splints for ~3 months, if it were to make a difference, I would see it by then.

2.  I made a calendar.  I told her I wanted her to wear splints for "this many days" (now until early June--the end of school).  She seemed to understand the time frame, at least in theory.  I mentioned that every weekend she would get a reward--something special, like a special breakfast, dinner, etc.  I also mentioned that at the end of the trial, she would get a HUGE reward.  Her choice.  I did say "a pony" and "superhero powers" were out of the question.  I left it up to her.

3.  I wrote the ramp-up on the calendar:  Thursday night, 2 hours; Friday night, 4 hours; Saturday night, 6 hours; Sunday night, 8 hours; the rest blank, hoping for a smooth transition to all-night splinting.  E was on board.  The first night, she was hesitant, cried a little...made me promise that if she was asleep, I'd take off the splints after 2 hours.  She was, and I did.  Second night, she cried 3 hours in--and she managed another 45 minutes and I took them off.  This night, it's supposed to be 6 hours, but I'm hoping for anything longer than the previous night.  Elena is a side/tummy sleeper, which makes having leg (knee) splints difficult--but she is really doing a great job at it.  She is trying so hard, bless her little heart.

I let her decide what rewards she should get in the next few weeks...look forward to crazy nail polish, possibly colored hair, and interesting meals.  And if anyone knows anyone who works at the American Girl Doll Company, we'll be writing you a fat check mid-June, if this pattern holds up.


Amy said...

Ha! Love the American Girl as reward! Great idea. Great plan. Hope it works. I'm watching with interest. It sounds feasible. Good luck.

Brielle and Me: Our Journey said...

Night splints can work. And you'd be surprised what kids can get used to! My 17yo daughter with moderate CP wears a leg brace with a knee emobilizer over it every other night (one leg only). I swear she misses it when we don't travel it. Good luck!

Andrea said...

My almost-six-year-old just had hamstring & adductor lengthening surgery. She is wearing knee immobilizers at night. I am new to all of this. What is the difference between knee immobilizers and night splints? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea to reward her like that!! Good going Elena! I think she will get used to sleeping in a way that makes wearing the splint easier eventually.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Elena,

I try really hard to keep my night splints on at night right now I can only tolerate them for about a half hour. My parents are also using a reward system with me if I do my therapy and wear my splints after I have SDR I can get a puppy.

Madeline said...

My 4.5-y-o daughter sleeps in her AFOS. I put an extra sock over them as well, so they don't scratch into the bedpost, wall, etc.
We used knee immobilizers for about 6 months post-SDR but then she just couldn't sleep with them -- started waking up sooner and sooner, it got to the point where it was interfering with her daytime function, so now we put them on when we have a "break" of a few hours in the afternoon / evening, while she is playing comuter games / Wii /watching TV.
As for the AFOS at night, she never really complains about them. I make sure to give her a breaks during downtime during the day / evening, and she has maintained the same ROM, though with a bit more initial resistance since after her SDR 1.5 years ago.
I've asked her DRs/therapists about night splints, but they feel since she is doing well with her AFOS and doesn't mind wearing them at night, we should maintain the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Read your update on the side of the blog. Glad to know Elena is doing well with the splints! I look forward to more posts. I see American Girl in your future Elena.