The Orp-rah-pee-dist Ah-toint-ment

Yesterday, I took Jonas to the “oprah-pedist.” An orprahpedist, in case you hadn’t heard, is a kids’ doctor who checks to see if your bones are strong. {Insert 3-year-old muscleman pose here.} Sometimes, the orprahpedist wants to take special pictures and you can’t say “CHEESE!” – you have to wear a heavy shirt and sit very, very still. And sometimes, the oprahpedist will watch you run or walk or sit or bend your legs. He’s a boy and he wears long pants that are blue like Daddy.


When Jonas was about 18 months old, my friend Holly noted that he “W-sits” and told me I should encourage him to sit other ways (like criss-cross… which is what they used to call Indian-style, back in the pre-PC days of my childhood… or sidesitting). The thing is, I’m a “deep” W-sitter too, so it never really jumped out at me when he would sit that way.

When he turned 2, Chris asked me to bring it up at his well-child checkup. The pediatrician said that the way he was sitting during that visit was nothing to worry about. We brought it up again at his 3-year WCC and the pediatrician said that his posture was “deeper” than the last time she saw him. She suggested that we work on it at home – encourage him to “fix your feet” when we saw him W-sit, maybe do some stretches to help loosen his hamstrings and make criss-cross sitting more comfortable for him.

That was February. Over the last 7 months, we’ve done a lot of nagging encouraging and a lot of stretching. Unfortunately, he hasn’t gained any improvement in the flexibility of sitting criss-cross (his hamstrings are super-tight and his knees stay up HIGH when he sits that way)… and as time went by, Chris did more & more reading about the ‘dangers’ of W-sitting and became concerned that this would do long-term damage to his hips.

So we went to our family doctor and got a referral to a pediatric orthopedist. Our wait time was horrendous (um, yeah. If you schedule me at 3:00 and tell me to be sure I’m there 15 minutes early, DON’T then have your clinic running 2 hours behind schedule. At least have the courtesy to call and say that you’re running that late & give me the option to show up & wait or reschedule. Grrr…) but once we were in to see the doctor, it was a great appointment.

The fellow came in (and my son walked right across the room to her, stuck out his hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Jonas.” She said, “My name’s Hillary. Nice to meet you,” and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you!” he responded. Could I be prouder!?) and took a brief history, then did a quick exam.

Wait, wait, wait a little more. The ortho came in and repeated the exam, asked if we’d ever had x-rays taken, had Jonas run up and down the hall. Then he sent us back out to the waiting room… where we were paged to radiology. I couldn’t go in with Jonas (because Susannah’s too little to be in the X-ray room) so he went in with the tech all by himself. No fear, no anxiety, just walked on in like such a big boy! Back to the waiting room… back to the ortho exam room.

The films were online in just a few minutes, and Dr. Tamai said he was really impressed at how clear & symmetrical the picture was. (Most 3 year olds wiggle. A lot. So their x-rays tend to be blurry due to the motion.) He also told me that Jonas was incredibly verbal, articulated well, and bright. {Again with my mama-pride. That’s my boy!} And tall (of course he asked, “How tall is Dad?” 😀 since Jonas obviously doesn’t get his height genes from me!) and a fast runner. Jonas loved hearing that!

The official assessment? Jonas just has wierd hips. “He’s just built that way,” the guy said. 🙂 He has a wide range of motion to rotate his hips & knees inward (femoral anteversion, it’s called) and much less ROM to rotate them outward. But since it’s “just the way he’s built,” the doctor said that not only would Jonas not need surgery or other drastic interventions… he doesn’t need any intervention. No physical therapy (which was a surprise, we were 100% certain we had a lot of PT in our future for this) and no need to constantly tell him to “fix his feet.” No prognosis of future hip problems, either. YAY! (But also a tiny bit of annoyance that we did all that worrying… and all that waiting at Children’s Hospital yesterday!… for nothing. But that’s really tiny, because it is good to hear the experts say that everything is fine.)

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Meet the author

Michelle, a white woman with brown hair, faces the camera with a smile. She wears glasses with clear frames and a shirt that says, "Those Goals Look Good On You."


I write about my faith, family, organization, and adventures in fiction writing. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!






“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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