Growing up in Querétaro, Mexico, María was an exceptionally bright and inquisitive child. At just 18 months old, she spoke at the level of a 6-year-old, and could even sing the tongue-twisting “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” song. Her parents marveled at her intelligence at such a young age, but there was something in her development that seemed off.
“At 1 year, she wasn’t crawling well and had difficulty standing,” her mother, María José, recalls. “She hadn’t learned to walk by 18 months, and she would crawl by pulling her two legs at the same time — like a little bunny.” Her parents knew that something was wrong, so they took her to see a pediatrician in their home country of Mexico.
Teagan has lived and breathed dance — ballet, jazz, tap, and more — since she was 5 years old. “It’s what makes me happy,” the now 12-year-old says. But two years ago, she started to feel pain in her hip that persisted after dance class and worsened over time. As her spring dance season wrapped up with four shows in two days, Teagan ended the final show with her pain at its worst.
But since her injury didn’t seem to be anything more than a minor muscle pull, her mother Jeannine had Teagan lay low over the summer, hoping that rest would help the pain go away. When dance classes started again in September, her dance teacher noticed that Teagan lacked the flexibility to do the moves she normally could. She recommended that Jeannine take her daughter to Boston Children’s.
When your child plays a sport, it’s often hard to tell where everyday aches and pains end and a potentially serious injury begins. Bumps and bruises are anything but rare in contact sports, and muscle soreness can be a common complaint for any young athlete — especially given the rigor of youth athletics these days. So how do you know when your child’s hip pain is due to an actual injury?
Just days away from a complex hip surgery, Louise Atadja smiles and laughs. “I’m not really nervous at all. I feel like it’s the next thing on my to-do list, like we’re just checking off a box,” she says. “That’s the type of person I am — I make lists of what I have to do, so that’s how I’m thinking about it.” …