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As you will probably know, Rufus was diagnosed with Perthes disease almost 2 years ago. Perthes is a degenerative hip condition where the blood supply to the head of the femur is compromised, so the femoral head dies and crumbles away. Rufus is, in many ways, one of the lucky ones....yes he's had bad days where he's in pain and limping but mostly with lots of rest, he gets through it. His age at diagnosis is a point in his favour as he is still growing and therefore there will be some regrowth, we are waiting to see how much.
In August last year, Rufus underwent a femoral osteotomy to try to correct some of the regrowth that was occurring in the wrong place. His consultant told us that prior to surgery, his hip was pretty much as bad as it could be and she was amazed he could even walk (this as he bounced off the consulting room walls!!) The operation involved breaking his femur, repositioning the femoral head (such as it is) within the socket and plating the bone in place. He had to spend 6 weeks completely non weight bearing and then was on crutches for a while (not that this slowed him down in any way at all!!) We are now playing a wait and see game, to see how much regrowth of the femoral head will occur and what shape this will be. The best case scenario is that there is good regrowth and then he will just have to have the plate removed later this year and continue being careful for a while. There are worse scenarios, but we don't think too much about that!!! Throughout it all, Rufus has pretty much been the bravest kid I know and his resilience, tenacity and ability to join in with everything whilst effectively having a broken leg has amazed and terrified us in equal measure!!
I am therefore running Brighton Marathon to raise money for the Perthes Association who provide support and advice for families suffering from Perthes. No-one knows a huge amount about Perthes even now so treating it is extremely difficult and more research is needed. We are incredibly lucky to have a supportive network of family and friends but organisations like the Perthes Association are vital in helping families through this.