Around 6 months ago my 4 year old Son Cole was diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease; a rare childhood condition that affects the hip. It occurs when the blood supply to the rounded head of the femur (thighbone) is temporarily disrupted, without an adequate blood supply, the bone cells die, a process called avascular necrosis. Usually, only one hip is involved, but in about 10% of cases, both hips are affected. Perthes disease begins in childhood, typically between the ages of 4 and 8, and affects boys more frequently than girls.
In this condition, the upper end of the thigh bone, known as the femoral head, breaks down. As a result, the femoral head is no longer round and does not move easily in the hip socket, which leads to hip pain, limping, and restricted leg movement. The bone eventually begins to heal itself through a normal process called bone remodelling, by which old bone is removed and new bone is created to replace it. This cycle of breakdown and healing can recur multiple times. Affected individuals are often shorter than their peers due to the bone abnormalities. Many people with Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease go on to develop a painful joint disorder called osteoarthritis in the hips at an early age.I first noticed there was something not quite right when he started limping for no reason, I kept asking him if he had hurt his leg or fallen over but he kept saying “No”. The limping lasted for a few days then it suddenly stopped so I put it down to over exercise or pulling a muscle as he is quite active and I didn’t think anything else of it until he started limping again a few weeks later. This time he wasn’t putting his heel down on the floor when he walked and the limp was a lot more noticeable than the time before, his teacher at school had also noticed it and passed comment but there was never an explanation for it and the limp only lasted a couple of days like last time then it stopped. We went to the doctors anyway to have him checked over as I was certain that his right leg was shorter than the other, the doctor did his checks and said both legs were the same length and he couldn’t find an explanation for the limping and to come back if it happened again. Around a month later Cole started limping again but this time complaining of pain in his right knee so another trip to the doctors for him and this time he referred Cole for an x-ray at the hospital.
I knew there was something wrong as soon as I saw the x-rays, the ball on the end of his right femur bone (that fits into the hip bone) looked squashed and crushed compared to the left, which was a perfect fit in the hip socket.
The doctor confirmed my suspicions and Cole was diagnosed Perthes Disease in the right hip.
There are 4 different stages to the disease:
Necrosis stage/Initial when the blood supply to the femoral head is disrupted and the bone cells start to die. The area becomes intensely inflamed and irritated and the first signs of the disease begin to show, such as a limp or walking different than usual. The initial stage can last for several months.
Fragmentation happens over a period of 1 to 2 years, the body removes the dead bone and quickly replaces it with an initial, softer bone (“woven bone”). It is during this phase that the bone is in a weaker state and the head of the femur is more likely to break apart and collapse.
Reossification is when new stronger bone develops and begins to take shape in the head of the femur. The reossification stage is often the longest stage of the disease and can last a few years but during this time the blood supply to the head of the femur returns and the bone begins to grow back.
Healed. In this stage, the bone regrowth is complete and the femoral head has reached its final shape. How close the shape is to round will depend on several factors, including the extent of damage that took place during the fragmentation phase, as well as the child’s age at the onset of disease, which affects the potential for bone regrowth.
During my time searching the net finding out the benefits of using CBD for other health problems I have read numerous articles and study evidence that suggests CBD could be an ideal supplement for Cole to help with the regeneration of new bone in the fragmentation and reossification stages of Perthes Disease.
As well as being an anti-inflammatory, which would be good for the initial onset of the disease, studies suggest that CBD stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Collagen (a highly abundant enzyme involved in bone healing) activity in osteoblasts (bone building cells). When I read this information I had to find out more because this sounded a perfect treatment for Perthes Disease and as far as I’m aware there are currently no medicines that help to heal the bones in Perthes Disease, it is all left to happen naturally. The only medicine given would be painkillers for associated pain such as knee and hip pain.
I’m currently in the process of researching further to find out how CBD acts in the body towards the bones and surrounding tissue and I’m hoping to connect with other people who have this condition or other bone conditions and to connect with people who already take CBD for bone conditions. I’m going to gather and put together as much information as possible and plan on updating my blog with my findings.
Are any other parents treating their child with CBD? Please get in touch. Is anyone actually using CBD to help with the Perthes Disease stages in their child? PLEASE get in touch.
Thanks for reading 🙂