News that Dancing with the Stars contestant Cameron Mathison, who plays 'Ryan' on the daytime drama "All My Children" had Legg Perthes disease as a child has raised awareness about Legg-Perthes, sometimes known as osteochondritis. Discussion about his experiences has also benefitted families whose children suffer joint pain from childhood hip dysplasia and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions.
Some symptoms of Legg-Perthes, sometimes known as Legg-Calvé-Perthes or just Perthes' Disease, include limping, hip pain and stiffness, and pain in the leg or knee, due lack of blood supply and softening of the round end of the thigh bone in the hip socket. It takes time for the bone to heal and children may suffer from pain and other discomfort, as well as needing to rest and avoid some sports and childhood activities that are considered 'high impact' like running and jumping, in the years until they are fully recovered. A brace or cast, or even surgery, may be recommended for some children.
Families whose children show symptoms of joint pain may need to get a second opinion if the family doctor disregards reports of chronic discomfort or behavioral changes. Our children may be encouraged when they see or read about celebrities who have shared their condition in childhood. Cameron Mathison did participate in sports and enjoyed an active lifestyle even before he became a competitor on Dancing with the Stars. He may not have been able to visualize himself as an actor, athlete or dancer when he wore leg braces, and it may have been impossible for his parents to predict that future, too.
Children's Hospital at Westmead
Parent Fact Sheet on Perthes' Disease
TV Guide - Cameron Mathison
Soap Opera Digest - Cameron Mathison
Johns Hopkins Univ National Osteonecrosis Foundation
Legg Perthes Disease
What is Perthes disease? Children with osteochondritis
Legg Calve Perthes, Morbus Perthes, and Developmental Dysplasia Supportat Yahoo Groups
HipBaby Support - Developmental Dysplasia at Yahoo Groups, for families whose children have Congenital Hip Dysplasia, CHD, loose hips, clicky hips, Hip Dysplasia, or infant hip dysplasia
Pain Management for Children
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Not Just Growing Pains A Guide to Childhood Muscle, Bone and Joint Pain, Rheumatic Diseases, and the Latest Treatments
Childhood Joint Pain
Books on Juvenile Arthritis at Amazon.com and Pain Management in Children
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Literacy Skill Development for Students with Special Learning Needs - A Strength Based Approach