Brysons perthes story begins when he was six years old. He was a very typical, active, boy and enjoyed playing baseball at a competitive level. He was participating in several baseball clinics over the summer when he began limping. Throughout the next few weeks his limp, and pain in his knee progressively became worse. We had tried stretching, icing, heating, and even a chiropractor thinking that he must have pulled a muscle. When nothing worked to help relieve pain we took Bryson to a physical therapist to see if he could help diagnose what was going on. After a thorough examination he sent Bryson over to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to get some X-rays of his knee. Those X-rays came back showing that nothing was wrong and he was told he had a pulled muscle and to keep stretching. After another week of extreme pain and limping we decided to take him back in to PCH since it seemed his symptoms were getting worse. The doctor took one look at his limp and sent him to get X-rays of his hip. On September 20th, 2017 after a month of symptoms, Bryson was diagnosed with Perthes.
He was put on strict restrictions and we made a follow up with the top perthes specialist at the hospital. There were so many emotions those first few weeks everything from fear, anger, frustration, and sadness. As Bryson’s mom I spent countless hours connecting with other perthes families, reading articles and books, and researching everything I could find about the disease . One of the other moms mentioned to me that this disease, while it is life changing, is not life ending. We clung to that truth for the next few months as Bryson’s perfusion MRI showed worst case scenario for him with 97% of his femoral head having lost blood flow. Our doctor, Dr. Karlen, was very quick to come up with a plan to help contain the hip. Bryson was placed in a wheelchair beginning in October 2017 and on December 26, 2017 Bryson has a salter osteotomy completed. He remained in his wheelchair for eight weeks post surgery and then began physical therapy. He went to PT for one and a half hours, three days a week, until he had build up enough muscle to help protect and compensate for his hip. We are now in the regrowth stage and have begun to see some ossification in the X-rays.
Bryson has been released to be a kid again, with the exception of no trampoline parks. He still has a limp and there are definitely good days and difficult days but he takes on each day with a positive attitude and lives it to the fullest. Throughout his journey, Bryson has become very involved in PHoenix Children’s Hospital. He has spoken on their behalf at several different fundraising events. It helps to keep us centered to know that we can give back to the place that has done so much to help Bryson and in doing so help other children who may have to endure similar experiences in life. This journey continues to teach our family patience, endurance, and the power of a positive outlook everyday. Bryson continues to show us what a true champion is and refuses to give up on the things and activities he loves. He has recently added golf to his his list of sports and also began baseball again. He is a true hero to our family and we couldn’t be more proud of him for his strength and positivity.