When we found out about our son’s diagnosis, we were devastated. Tristan was a big, strong, fast boy who looked indestructible. No way this could be true. And what was worse, Tristan was 10 years old when his injury occurred, and from everything we were able to research about his injury, the older your child is when diagnosed the worse the prognosis. SO we needed to do something, and fast. Being a doctor myself, and my wife being a nurse, we immediately reached out to colleagues to find a doctor to help our son, and I got one name from multiple sources: Dr. David Feldman.
As time was a factor, we set up an appointment as soon as we could, but had another consult with another doctor first. Honestly, in our mindset at the time, feeling desperate, if what that doctor had told us had made sense we very may well have gone with him. But thank goodness we were pretty well versed in anatomy and biomechanics that the initial solution was out of the question for us, as that procedure would have been totally invasive to the joint itself and left our son with a short leg in the process. That didn't fly with us. So not knowing what to expect from Dr. Feldman and feeling totally demoralized at our first option, we went to see him.
I am not going to lie and say our consult was all rainbows and lollipops. During my research I had come across applications for the ex-fix procedure for hip injuries, but reading further I hadn't seen it used for Perthes. So when Dr. Feldman told us that this was our best option to not only heal his current injury but to also leave the integrity of the joint at the same time, I was surprised that this would be a viable option. And we weren't overly thrilled of the prospect of having a metal rod drilled to the outside of our boy's hip for 5 months. But what we have come to really respect about Dr. Feldman is his directness and confidence in his approach. He didn't beat around the bush and he told us exactly what we needed to know, and in such a way that we knew immediately that this was the only option for our boy. We knew leaving his office that day that we were 100% totally confident that the ex-fix approach was not only the BEST choice for our son, but more importantly Dr. Feldman was the BEST doctor we could choose. Not a day goes by that we don't thank God we found him.
It's been about 18 months since Tristan had his second surgery to remove the ex-fix. While we have had many ups and downs, we shudder at the thought of not going the way of the ex-fix and Dr. Feldman to help our son. Tristan's hip joint is mainly preserved, and he is getting stronger and stronger everyday. He doesn't walk with a limp. Four months after removing his ex-fix, Tristan was back on his skates. In October of 2016, he played in his first hockey game since his injury. If we ever had a question or were worried about how things were going during rehab, Dr. Feldman was there almost immediately to answer our questions and address our fears. Dr. Feldman gave Tristan his childhood back.
We are so lucky to have found out about Dr. Feldman and his use of the ex-fix. While Perthes is a truly horrible injury for a child of any age, Dr. Feldman's approach was the best possible answer for our son. To Dr. Feldman and his amazing staff, thank you so very, very much!!