When facing a serious medical decision like Perthes Disease, having the confidence that you’re making the right choice of treatment for yourself or your loved ones is paramount. And yet, for most of us, dealing with doctors, diagnoses and complicated treatment options can be daunting and scary.
Here at the Paley Institute, we’re all too familiar with that feeling. Many of the families that come to us are facing troubling diagnoses and uncertainty about the path ahead for them and their loved ones. That’s why we always strive to give patients the confidence they need to make the decision that is best for them.
That was the case with Warren, a patient of Dr. Feldman’s who was diagnosed with Perthes disease when he was 11. A childhood disorder, Perthes affects the head of the femur; the blood supply to the bone becomes inadequate and the resulting damage results in softening of the bone and eventual necrosis, or breaking down of the bone.
Warren’s family first started noticing problems with Warren’s hip because he was frequently limping or having trouble moving. While he was still able to participate in activities like soccer, he just couldn’t move as well as he was normally able. After going to see a doctor, Warren’s parents were told he had Perthes and that he needed to be confined to a wheelchair – a punishment for an active young boy eager to run around with his friends.
Dr. David Feldman
Concerned about that diagnosis and wanting to learn more, Warren’s parents did significant research that eventually led them to Dr. Feldman. The change of approach was dynamic; Dr. Feldman said Warren didn’t need to stay in the wheelchair; instead, he needed a hip distraction to avoid having to deal with a hip replacement surgery down the road. As Warren’s mom said of Dr. Feldman’s approach, “he wasn’t pushy, he was confident.”
“I can’t tell you how it feels to go to a doctor’s office and receive total confidence and reassurance from a doctor,” his mom said. “He sat with us until we had no more questions, and we scheduled his hip distraction.”
The eventual surgery was a success, and in roughly a year Warren was up and running and playing sports again. That feeling can’t be replaced, his mother said:
“As a parent, you want the best for your child and I am sure we got the best possible care anyone can ever get from a doctor with Dr. Feldman and his staff.”
Perthes disease (also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, or Calve Perthes disease, or avascular necrosis) is a childhood disorder which affects the head of the femur (the ball of the ball and socket joint of the hip). In Perthes disease the blood supply to the growth plate of the bone at the end of the femur (called the epiphysis) becomes inadequate. As a result the bone softens and breaks down (a process called necrosis).