Yesterday we took Melissa to an Orthopedic Doc to have her feet looked at. With all of the "extra" medical stuff this year, we are close to our deductible and figured why not. They have been bugging her quite a bit lately and so figured now is as good a time as any. After filling out the paper work at the desk and giving a brief explanation of what has been going on, they showed us into the exam room. Shortly thereafter, a nurse comes in and says I just wanted to come in and see if we are going to need x-rays of both feet or just the one. Then she took one look at Melissa's feet and says, "Oh, you've got Bunions, I think we have to do both..." and walks out.
Um what? Did you say Bunions? Bunions are for old people. And isn't a bunion just a growth on the bone that just sticks out like a big bump? But she wasn't there to ask (the nurse). The next thing we know, the X-ray tech comes in to collect Melissa and off they go for x-rays. Long story short, yep, she's got bunions. Only they aren't actually a "bump" on the bone, her big toe is all sorts of deformed. The PA comes in and starts the exam goes over all kinds of information and actually ended up being just as thorough and knowledgeable as the actual doc himself. They were telling us that they have found that by having the PA come in first and look over the patient, there are some things that he can just take care of completely by himself and then send the patient on their way, or the doc can come in at the end if the patient is insisting or requesting it, or the doc will come in for a second opinion or a more specialized opinion. That way the doc can get some other stuff taken care of and they actually see more patients that way. That's kind of a long explanation and not really pertinant to the story, but on a side note, if they can afford to hire a PA to kind of "double" up like that they must be making all kinds of money. (just sayin')
So anyway, back to the story. I don't know how many times the doctor said that he was shocked after "peeking" at the x-rays that Melissa was only 12. He said that in his 20+ years of being a surgeon, he's only had 1 case of juvenile bunions. So here's the kicker. Melissa needs surgery. Ony we have to decide when. The doc says there are several kinds of bunion surgery. The kind that Melissa needs now is a somewhat "simple" procedure. However since she is not skeletally mature yet, she most likely will have to have it done AGAIN when she is "mature". So we could wait until she is "mature" and then do it. However, the draw back to that is if we do wait, it will get worse and may get to the point that she will need a different kind of bunion surgery that entails dislocating her big toe from her foot and cutting into the foot bone from the top, rearranging a bunch of stuff and then putting the toe back on. So basically it comes down to making a decision and not knowing for three more years if we made the right decision. That stinks. Just sayin' (agian).
On another side note, I asked the doctor how long until she is skeletally mature. He said, "Oh probably in about 2 to 3 years. Generally they say 24 months after you have your first period." The PA starts to laugh and says, "If you could only see your face right now." And it's true because I was in some sort of a shock. I am not prepared for Melissa to be starting anything of whatever anytime soon. Do the Math! 2 to 3 years from now means she could start any time now. After I explained my shock to the doctor he said that generally nowadays, the average age is 12! TWELVE I tell you! as in one two. As in not even an official teenager. Then he said, "Well how old were you when you started?" I told him (I'll spare you all the details- you're welcome). And he said, "Well, then you matured with the boys." And yes, that stinks too. Just sayin' (again).