Meet our Superstar Kai
Kai first came to us presenting left sided Legg-Calves-Perthes disease (LCPD). This rare, idiopathic, self-limiting disease is a result of decreased blood supply to the femoral head leading to avascular necrosis. In a small percentage of those with the LCPD, there is a bilateral presentation. Shortly after Kai’s initial consult with us, he had follow up X-rays which revealed he was developing LCPD of his right femoral head also.
Kai’s teacher noticed he grew agitated when asked to sit cross-legged on the mat. This lead to further investigation. At the time, Kai was 4 years old and an active and adventurous boy was told he was no longer able to run, jump and kick.
Due to the varying presentation of LCPD, there are no consistent and reliable guidelines for treatment and management. From a musculoskeletal point of view, we have been aiming to improve Kai’s hip range of motion, particularly into abduction. We have aimed to keep Kai moving as much as possible in his pain free range of movement whilst avoiding high impact activities to reduce pain and stiffness.
Kai is now 5 years old; through our PAEDS program, we have been able to prevent secondary delays in several of Kai’s fundamental movement skills. He has become a confident modified basketball goal shooter, baseball hitter, ten-pin bowler and his throwing and catching skills are progressing ahead of his age group. Kai has been given the opportunity to develop these skills in a safe environment under the care of an AEP and an AEP student. We are optimistic that at the resolution of the disease, Kai will have the confidence and acquisition of skills to excel in playground activities.
Kai recently had an orthopaedic review from which Kai was allowed to run again, he ran as fast as he could from the car park into our office to tell us! Any indication of pain was the only limit on how much running or scootering he could do because his latest x-ray had shown ongoing ossification on the left femoral head, and no collapse or fragmentation on the right. The smile on his face was priceless and we spent the following hour having running races on the grass.
Story from Rosie Sciacca, Accredited Exercise Physiologist – Curtin University