Q’Shaun Story and his Blount’s disease

“I knew something was wrong with Q’Shaun’s legs as a toddler because he didn’t try to start walking till he was 2 years old, and when he did finally walk, he was clumsy and couldn’t keep his balance. The older he got, the more twisted and bowed his legs became.” – Carol, Q’Shaun’s mother

Q’Shaun was diagnosed with Blount’s disease, a growth disorder of the lower leg bone that is characterized by a bowing appearance of the leg below the knee joint.

“He had a substantial bowing of both legs causing pain, deformity and this limited his activities,”
said Dr. Christopher Iobst, Director, Center for Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction, Clinical Associate Professor, Orthopedic Surgery at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“The doctors we saw said to wait till he was older and stronger to try and correct his legs.
It was hard to wait. He didn’t have friends; he was bullied because of his bowed legs. He missed out on a lot growing up,” said Carol, Q’Shaun’s mother. “He is a big kid, and he loves sports. Even with his legs, he was determined to play baseball and football. It was scary to see him run as it looked like his legs would just break because they were so twisted.”

After many years of struggling and waiting, it was finally time for Q’Shaun to have surgery to correct his legs.

“The doctors told us that if he didn’t have the surgery before he was 16 then he would be in a wheelchair,” said Carol. “That made the decision to have the correction done easy, there really
wasn’t another option.”

“He had a large amount of deformity,” said Dr. Iobst. “This can be corrected gradually with
the TL-Hex which is the safest method for bone healing and soft tissue healing.”

Carol was a little shocked when she first saw Q’Shaun after surgery.
“It was scary at first to see it on his leg. I was very scared of tightening the system,” said Carol.

“Lots of people at school ask me about the frame and if it hurt and I told them ‘no’,” said Q’Shaun. “If they ask why I had it on I told them ‘It was because my legs are bowed and need to be straightened.’ Most people were just curious because they had never seen anything like the frame.”

Q’Shaun, treated for Blount’s disease

Carol has a few words of advice for other parents faced with this type of procedure.
“You need lots of communication and support. You can’t do it by yourself. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time because it’s worth it,” said Carol.

Now, one year after his last surgery, Q’Shaun is playing baseball, football and he’s a member of his high school’s ROTC unit where he plays the drum and marches in local parades and, just as important, he now has friends.

“I am so proud, I cry when I see him march because it’s something I never thought he could do,” said Carol. “Before surgery, I couldn’t march a long way.

Now I can just keep marching,” said Q’Shaun. “And when I play football and baseball, I can run straighter and faster now. My favorite part of baseball is hitting grand slams because I’m proud of myself and my team.”

The patient stories above show an individual’s response to treatment. They are not intended to provide any indication or guarantee of the response other people may have. Please consult a qualified medical provider for diagnosis and treatment.