Never heard of this before? Well, me either until last Thursday and we found out Carson has this. Read more about it here: (sorry I do not know how to add links) http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_orthopaedics/lcpd.cfm
Around the first week of school Carson was occasionally complaining of "leg pain" and limping off and on. When he would point to where the pain was it seemed like he was pointing to his upper right thigh. I figured he had a pulled muscle or something. He has also had "growing pains" a lot since he was 3-4 years old, so I am embarrassed to admit I brushed this "leg pain" off as nothing.
Cam picked Carson up from school the Tuesday after Labor day and told me he was limping very badly. Cam said "you need to take him to the Dr" which if anyone knows Cam this is a rarity. I started investigating this "leg pain" a little more seriously, Carson showed me exactly where it was hurting and I was surprised to learn it was his hip and groin that were hurting. I called and made him an appointment with his pediatrician for this past Thursday.
On Thursday, I dropped Carson off at school and he was walking fine. He had a tiny limp in his step, but only enough that a mother would notice. By lunchtime that day, the school had called me stating that Carson was limping so badly he could not participate in recess time and they were worried about him.
I picked him up from school and we waited for his late afternoon appointment. When we went to the Dr. Carson was still noticeably limping. She checked for hernias (negative) and then started doing Range of Motion (ROM) tests with Carson. He could NOT do them with his right leg and it hurt him badly to try. His left leg was moving fine and he was able to do anything the Dr. did with that leg.
She sent us off for X-rays to test for Legg-Calve Perthes Disease (AKA Perthes disease) and later we got the call that he does in fact have this. If you don't have time to click on the above link here is a shortened version of what Perthes is:
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a temporary condition in children in which the ball-shaped head of the thigh bone, referred to as the femoral head, loses its blood supply. As a result, the femoral head collapses. The body will absorb the dead bone cells and replace them with new bone cells. The new bone cells will eventually reshape the femoral head of the thigh bone. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease causes the hip joint to become painful and stiff for a period of time (Orthopaedics, 2008).
The treatment of Perthes varies from rest and physical therapy (the "newer" treatment) to surgery and casts for 6 weeks (the "older traditional therapy"). Treatment (healing) usually takes 18 months to two years. We were referred to an orthopedic doctor who we will see on Wednesday. From what I know about Carson's case is that his is mild and that from preliminary x-rays, we will hopefully get to go the physical therapy route. We are hoping and praying that that is what the Orthopedic doc tells us on Wednesday.
So for now we are completing "Cam and April" physical therapy and Carson is having a hard time with it. It really hurts him to move that leg in some positions (especially like extending the knee out like when sitting cross legged etc). I had never tried to do ROM stuff with him prior to this, and I feel really sad I didn't. I had no idea how limited his motion was before the Dr was doing it.
For now, though it already seems like he is doing better. His limp is not that noticeable. I am sure that to a stranger it just looks like he walks a little funny. I however am a little heartbroken by all of this. How do you keep a 6 year old on bedrest for his leg to heal?- (hopefully we do not have to go that route).
So, I will update again on Wednesday after he we know more.
Here is a picture of Carson trying to sit cross legged (he posed himself with the sad face and finger pointing down)You can see the normal position of the left leg and the higher position of the right leg. That is as far down as Carson can "relax" that leg down, this position is painful for him.