Dr. Austin Fragomen turned my life around by performing two femoral osteotomies on me in 2016 to correct deformity of my legs due to Blount’s Disease.
My legs were perfectly normal until I was 12. When I turned 12 and got my pre-puberty growth spurt, the leg growth went haywire. Within a year they were both very crooked. Blount’s Disease had disrupted the legs’ growth plates so that part grew normally while part stopped. What a mess!
Having this deformity greatly affected my youth. I was extremely self-conscious and my social life was restricted, which was pretty depressing. And to make matters worse, the deformity was causing my knee joints to wear out prematurely.
Although two operations in my 20’s reduced the deformity somewhat, my knees continued to decline. Although very athletic as a child, I found that I had to give up one sport after another - no more squash, then no more tennis, then no more jogging even if I stuck to soft surfaces.
The necessity of raising three children kept me going. I kept saying to myself that my knees have to hold out as long as one of my children wants to be carried. They just made it.
When my last child left home for college, my legs hit bottom. I could no longer walk more than a ¼ mile. I did not want to carry anything heavier than a book. I was very discouraged as I felt nothing could be done to improve the situation.
I learned from the HSS website that Dr. Fragomen performed surgery to correct Blount’s Disease deformities. I was amazed to find someone who had even heard of the condition much less one who could treat it.
I had hope and made an appointment to see him, but I was very nervous. I had put off dealing with the problem until I was 64. Would he tell me that I was too old to treat?
When Dr. Fragomen told me that he could correct my deformity - give me legs that were both attractive and fully functional - I could not believe it. He said he would have to perform osteotomies on each femur (thigh). That means he would cut a wedge of bone out of each leg, straighten the leg by closing the wedge and then hold the leg together with screws and a plate.
Sounds like a big deal? It took me a nanosecond to decide to do it.
The operations, performed about 4 months apart, went smoothly. The HSS hospital staff was super nice! I have to admit it hurt a bit but it was well worth the pain.
As I lay in bed after the second operation, I looked down at a sight I thought I would never see - I had two straight legs just like the rest of the world. It made me so happy.
Dr. Fragomen’s follow up was excellent. He carefully measured my progress and he made sure that I did my physical therapy - a key to a good recovery.
Last week, I walked 4 miles in New York City carrying a full handbag without pain. How nice it was to walk all the way from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue at 81st Street along the east side of Central Park - all the way to midtown! I thought I would never have this pleasure again.
I am deeply appreciative of Dr. Fragomen’s work on my legs. God willing, they will carry me for many more miles.