Stories about: Lower Extremity Program

‘There’s always something that can be done’: Finding hope for Caden

lead image Caden Grimm Thriving

“I want the best quality of life for my son — what any parent would want for their child,” says Michelle, mom to 12-year old Caden.

Caden has spent almost half his life struggling to keep up with his peers after a lawnmower accident badly injured his leg at the age of six. The injury disrupted his growth plate, and was having a significant effect on his growing limb, leading him to have knock-kneed alignment in his right leg. The condition was keeping him from fully experiencing the activities a boy his age normally enjoys; from playing baseball and basketball to walking the amusement park with his family.

A growth plate is the area of growing tissue at each end of the long bones in children (such as the femur, tibia and humerus). These plates are where the bone gets longer as one grows.

“It bothered his dad and I, to see him unable to keep up — and it really bothered him,” Michelle, recalls. “One day, Caden came to me and said, ‘Mom, can you help me?’ and I told him, ‘I will do everything in my power to help you.’”

That’s when Michelle began doing research, spending over a month trying to find the best orthopedic surgeon in the country to help correct Caden’s growing leg.

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All in the family: Returning to the dance floor

osteochondritis dissecansKristina Peitzch jokes that with four daughters her family keeps the local dance school in business.

It started with Jessica, now 13.

Jessica fell in love with ballet when she was 3. A few years later, Danielle followed, then Madison and finally Abigail. Going to the studio on a nearly daily basis is a family affair.

But when Jessica was 9, she started experiencing mysterious ankle pain. Dancing felt a little less enjoyable.

“It was random at first and seemed to happen more with activities like gym class or ballet,” says Kristina. The pain would disappear for a few weeks, so Kristina attributed it to growing pains.

Over time, Jessica’s ankle pain became more frequent, and she would complain about it several times a week.

Kristina mentioned it to her daughter’s pediatrician, who ordered an x-ray of her ankle. It didn’t show an injury or fracture, so Kristina continued to treat Jessica’s ankle pain with an occasional Advil.

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