About Tanner…

When David and I found out we were pregnant after many years of trying (13)  we were thrilled to find out we were having a BOY!!   What would we call this little jelly bean that would be here in 7 months….the name Tanner Joseph was continuously discussed  in our conversations and it stuck.  We pictured a blonde headed,  browned eyed,  little boy climbing on the fort in the back yard, chasing his sister, playing baseball, football, and soccer.   Tanner Joe, Number 12!   Never in our wildest dreams did we think those activities would not be a part of his childhood.   

At the end of  February 2005,  Tanner began to display limping and complaining of knee pain.  As the pain continued to increase we met with our pediatrician who ran blood test, x-rays and ultrasounds and received no answers but referred to a local Orthopedist.  At our appointment he had X-rays of his hip done and had him placed on the exam table. As he began to rotate his leg and frog him he knew without looking at the X-rays what Tanner had.  It was at that point  Tanner was diagnosed with Legg Calve Perthes, better known as Perthes.  We were told to keep him non-weight bearing, no running, jumping, or contact sports and that within 4-6 years his femoral head would “regrow‘ and he would resume life as normal.    Here we are 11 years later, Tanner is 15 and still dealing with Perthes.  It is a disease that does not magically go away after regrowth. Some children are lucky and can play sports, run and even walk without pain with Perthes. My child was not one of them. 

This blog  has followed Tanner and our journey over the last 11 years and will continue to do so.  Please take the time to explore the above tabs, What is Perthes and  What’s Happening Now (it’s our blog). 

Thank you.



  1. Such a strong little boy!! You are all in our thoughts and prayers and will continue to be daily!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!

  2. Hey Tanner! Good Luck in the morning with your surgery! IT IS going to be a SUNNY DAY! Get the surgery over with and do your rehab so all this can be behind you! Hang in there David and Alice!!

  3. Prayers for Tanner

  4. Praying for you Tanner….Get well soon!!

    • Dear Alice and Tanner,
      I just want to let you know that the one absolutely wonderful thing about children is their unique ability to heal. I don’t know if you remember that Beth fell off of the slide at school when she was 6 and had a devastating left elbow fracture. she was in surgery for 2 hours and when the doc came out to talk to me, he said that she had the worst elbow fracture that he had ever seenl He predicted that she would barely be able to bend her elbow—-ever! Needless to sayk Beth is now 21 and completely healed from that fracture. It took 6 months of gueling physical therapy and quite alot of tylenol and motrin but she did it and I am now the proud mom of Cpl Beth Burkitt USMC. Oooh-rah!!! I believe that our faith in God and Beths age all contributed to a wonderful outcome. So hang in there and I do believe that all will be well-Mary B.

  5. Tonite my husband & I offered the Mass, for you, Tanner, and for our grandson, Christopher. My son, Michael has been SO concerned for you~~~I could tell how much he cares for you, Tanner….it was in his voice, as he told me about you. I asked God to send his Healing Light….to invade your body and make you whole again! Our love and prayers are with you. We are Christopher’s grandparents, and we live in Oklahoma+

  6. Hi Tanner,

    Just want to know that I’m thinking and praying for you. You will have to tell me what the playroom is like.

    Love you

    Aunt Sharon

  7. you are in my prayers!may God give you strength & bless you always!=)

  8. Hi! Michael Kubat here.

    Wonderful – if heart-wrenching – blog you’ve got here.

    I thought you might appreciate a long-term perspective from someone who has been there. I am a 61 year-old “survivor” of Legg-Perthes-Calve. I contracted it at the age of six and spent 3-1/2 years off my feet, about half of that in 24/7 traction. Even so, the affected hip joint grew back deformed and has always caused some pain: downright nasty on some days, particularly in bad weather and/or after intensive use of the leg.

    I have never been able to get rid of the pain and the lessened flexibility, but I have managed to live a pretty normal life. This included 20 years in the Navy, even though I’d had to beg, plead and crawl for a medical waiver due to a Selective Service classification of IV-F. (Even the Vietnam-era draft didn’t want me, and that’s saying a lot!) And I still soldier on now, even with some lumbar spine problems that add to the pain and slow me down.

    I’m sure that you have heard all this before, so let me not get too preachy. My biggest obstacle has not been the physical stuff: near-constant pain, limited range of motion, slightly shorter leg, some limits on physical performance, etc. The biggest battles that I have had to wage have been against depression and a sense of worthlessness. No amount of personal success has been able to win this “war,” which is only abating now, with good help and the perspective of age. I earnestly wish that people (including my family) had taken into account the psychological toll of a pernicious monster like Perthes; but back in 1950s, and in my native Czechoslovakia to boot, it just wasn’t done. Today it is, and I’m heartily glad of it.

    Wishing you and Tanner the best!

    M J Kubat

    • Thank you very much for your kind words. At this post he is doing well when it comes to his hip. I plan on posting later this week, as it has been a long time. Thank you once again, your comments are well taken and inspiring. I read them to Tanner and he had a tear in his eye, he has a lot of compassion.

      • I’m looking forward to reading the news, and my thoughts are with you.

  9. Our son (now nearly 22) was diagnosed with Perthes when he was 11 which is quite late. After regular checkups during a six month period, it was deemed that the hip was becoming worse and he was in pain. The surgeon explained a procedure that he would almost certainly benefit from, but it was a choice we needed to consider. Soon after He had the procedure, a femoral osteotomy with a recovery of about 3 months. The screws were removed from his hip as a hospital day patient 6 months later as the bone was beginning to grow over the top. As a result of the operation, he did lose some leg length, but that seems hardly noticeably now. Occasionally his back lower back will ache, but this seems to pass. He is a fit and happy young man. He enjoys gym, and all sorts of sports and plenty of walking. Apart from a few friends knowing he doesn’t seem to remember this was part of his life at all. I hope this assists any concerned parents.

    • Thank you for sharing and yes I am sure it will help.

  10. Hey Tanner,

    My name is Frank and I’m 37 years old. I found out I had “Perthes” when I was 5. I still remember the pain like it was yesterday and pray that yours will end soon!

    I still remember the day that the doctor told me that I would never play sports (my heart was crushed). Talk about taking your hope, dreams, and childhood away. At the time, they wanted to do surgery on my right hip which would have resulted in me living in a cast for 6 to 8 months. I wasn’t having that and pleaded with my mother for other options. Several specialists later, I was wearing braces that made me walk like a duck (45 degree hip angle). These braces were the best thing ever. After a few weeks of wearing them, it eased the splintering pain. Eventually, I was able to sleep through the night. If my memory serves right, I wore the braces for about 2 years (Don’t worry about what others think or say if you choose to wear the braces).

    That same doctor that put me in braces also recommended swimming and biking! These activities can be started at a very young age and your parents can join you as well! When I was younger, I wasn’t sure about these activities as I thought they were boring. Well, I still swim and bike today. In fact, I compete in triathlons. Next Summer 2013, I will be doing my first IRONMAN. The running has always been a slight issue, but I have learned my bodies signals over the years and know when it’s time to slow down. I can’t stress enough about how swimming and biking has helped me.

    My personal opinion (I’m no doctor), but it is very important to have the maximum amount of blood flow to your hips and to get circulation going. The braces helped with the PAIN and bone growth, the swimming, and biking increased my heart rate which had my blood pumping and body taking in more oxygen. Drink lot’s of whole milk, followed up with fruits and veggies. Remember, you can help your hip get better, but you have to get the maximum amount of blood and oxygen to that area. Make sure you stretch your legs out as often as you can and hold each stretch for no less than 30 seconds. This also helps build up muscles around the hip area and produces more blood flow and oxygen. Start off slow and in moderation. Make sure your doctor knows what your doing so he/she can monitor your progress.

    Tanner, you can do this! Put your heart, mind, and soul into this. Stay active and positive. I’m a HUGE believer in blood flow and oxygen and how it helps build, develop, and repair the body.

    I wish you the best and “YES you can!”

    Always, Frank

  11. Hey Tanner
    I too had Perthes disease.
    I was complaining of knee and hip pain I think since I was 3 years old. Finally at the age of 7 I fell down and could not get up. I was put in a brace and used a wheelchair for the next 5 years
    It sucks, I remember too well but I am now 41, run 10km a day, own 2 MMA schools and work as a paramedic.
    Hang in there buddy, it gets better.

    • Thanks Tom, I will let him know. That’s awesome that you do this. We’re you active as a child?

    • That’s awesome Tom! tanner is doing good now, we just need to interest him in something.

  12. Hi I’m 34 and a parent myself now, I was diagnosed with Perthes in 1987 aged 6. It’s amazing to read now all the different types of treatments and supports that are available. I only know one other person that’s had Perthes. I’m hoping to have a hip replacement when my children are a bit older as my affected joint is arthritic. It’s funny how I’ve had years of pain and then years and years of it not affecting my life so much. I hope your family are made stronger by the endurance you need to live with Perthes and the complications it can bring xx

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