A common broken bone injury doesn’t always result in a common healing process. At least it didn’t for Benton Thompson, who broke his tibia and fibula while playing basketball in his home’s driveway with his sister. He wore the typical cast for four weeks, but after his doctor removed the cast, his parents noticed that his leg wasn’t straight.
“It bowed out from the knee down,” said Benton’s mother, Kristen. “His doctor told us it should straighten up on its own, so we just watched and waited.”
After waiting about 18 months and still no change, Kristen and her husband, Steve, decided to take Benton to a pediatric orthopedic specialist, who recommended surgery to insert a plate in Benton’s leg to straighten it out. With surgery looming, the Thompsons decided if surgery must be done on their then 5-year-old, they wanted it done at Children’s of Alabama.
“We could have had the surgery done at a hospital near home in Dothan, but we’ve never gone through the experience of having a child put to sleep,” Kristen said. “While we were anxious, we just had a peace about going to Children’s.”
At Children’s, Benton’s surgeon inserted a plate the size of a paper clip into his leg. After spending just one night in the hospital, he was discharged home. “For about a week or so, he used a walker, but after about two weeks he was totally back to his normal activity,” Kristen said.
Benton returned to Children’s for annual visits to check the status of his leg. At the first checkup, his leg had already shown great improvement. At the second visit, it was once again straight, which meant doctors could remove the plate—this time as outpatient surgery. “Once again, the surgery went great,” Kristen said. “He didn’t even need a walker after that second surgery.”
With his leg completely healed, Benton is back in action playing baseball, flag football and basketball. “Benton didn’t have a big surgery as compared to what many children have to go through, but the experience we had at Children’s was great,” Kristen said. “They took excellent care of him and us. It’s hard turning your child over to someone to be put to sleep and endure surgery. But we felt very much at peace about doing that at Children’s. They took such good care of our child.”