We received some bad news with my son PaintItRed yesterday on an injury that just refuses to heal. He's a long distance runner and a good one, and he basically lost most of his Jr and Sr year of athletic competition to this. In the fall of 2010, he started having discomfort in his hip that really slowed him down the last 1/3 or his x-country season. In the spring of 2011, the pain resurface during Track and was diagnosed as a hip flexor strain. He would take a week off, go back and run, take another week off, ... In late April after watching him really struggle in a mile race, we took him to an ortho guy who did an x-ray and found a stress fracture in his hip that required surgery and pins to fix.
He gets the surgery, and by July he is rehabbed and doing light running. The expectation was that he would be back to reasonable states of 100% by the end of the x-country season - late Oct. It didn't happen, he continued to have pain and we continued going back for checkups. The pain was unexplained, and the doctor theorized that it must be the hardware.
So ... surgery #2 in November to get the hardware out. That goes not without a hitch - upon taking the screws out the doctor indicated that there was a clear fluid that came out, and that the screws were "loose". She didn't seem overly concerned as the fracture healed perfectly. The next 6 weeks on crutches Ryan said he felt no pain - and that was going through PT as well. He was off crutches by mid December, and walked around NYC on New Years Eve and stood for 8 hours. He did say it was a little sore, but who wouldn't be?
First of January we go to see if he can be released to start running and ... a new crack! The crack was not there a week after his surgery to remove the pins, so it was new. It is located right where one of the screws was. And this showed signs of trying to heal but not being able to. Surgeon was very concerned, especially with how it looked. There were signs that it has been there and trying to heal but unable to. So we go get a second and third opinion, and they both say that it was probably due to the hardware causing some weakness - his body didn't accept it for whatever reason. They felt 6 weeks on crutches would probably allow the bone to heal, even though the surgeon had concerns.
4 weeks later we get an x-ray and the doctor saw some bone growth and healing - good. 2 weeks after that - yesterday - we get a CT scan and find that the healing really isn't happening at all.
So now we are off to see a new set of specialists, and he is likely looking at surgery #3 for a bone graft. It's been [expletive]. The disappointment in our family right now is just hard to express. It's not just sports - the kid has been on crutches for I don't even know how ong and he's going to have to have a pretty major surgery after already having had two others in a year.
Long term prognosis is still excellent. Doc said once this heals he probably will forget which hip happened to in years. The worry is if the crack goes all the way through and damaged the head - that's a devastating and life changing injury for an 18 year old.
They have been consulting with doctors all over and there are no explanations, and none of them have ever seen anything like this.
One day at a time, that's what I tell him.
Sorry to hear that. I understand how tough it is to see someone you love go through something that can seem hopeless. I've been in similar situations.
He's doing the right things.
He's in the right places.
He's talking to the right people.
That's all you can do right now.
I'll keep him in my thoughts. Good Luck with surgery #3.