Girl, 12, has dream of dancing career restored after rare disease attacks her bones

Mia Oldroyd, from East Lancashire, was dancing ballet, tap, jazz and eight other disciplines before she was diagnosed with Pethes’ disease, which affects the hip joint

Mia Oldroyd has been diagnosed with a rare disease

A young girl’s dreams of becoming a professional dancer looked to be in tatters due to a rare disease – but a cutting-edge medical procedure has restored her hope.

Mia Oldroyd, from East Lancashire, has been dancing since she was just four-years-old.

After beginning with ballet and tap, she learned more and more disciplines and now practices over 11 different types – including jazz and contemporary, Yorkshire Live reported.

Her future dancing dreams took a serious dent when the 12-year-old developed pain in her left hip, which eventually progressed to her walking with a limp.

When her symptoms began getting worse, Mia was taken for an x-ray at her local A&E where the full extent of her condition was revealed.

Mia was told that she had a condition known as late-onset Pethes’ disease, which affects the hip joint in around one in every 10,000 children and usually affects those under 10.

Mia developed pain in her hip


Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust)

Devastated Mia was told that she would need to stop dancing, while doctors found a way to treat the condition.

Because of Mia’s age, her condition was considered to be late-onset, which meant that some of the more common treatment options were not available to her.

Perthes’ disease causes part of the ball-and-socket hip joint to lose its blood supply, eventually causing the bone to soften and begin to break down.

The usual treatment for the condition is physiotherapy and the use of crutches, which allows the bone to regenerate on its own, but sometimes surgery is needed to repair the damage.

Due to Mia’s age, she was told that she would need to have surgery to re-shape the bone around the hip joint, and an external fixator fitted to her hip and the top of her leg.

Mia’s mum Amanda was determined that her daughter would get the best care possible, in the hope that the diagnosis wouldn’t spell the end of her dancing career for good.

After much research she heard of James Fernandes, a consultant orthopedic surgeon at Sheffield Children’s, who specializes in limb reconstruction.

Mia first arrived in Sheffield to prepare for her surgery in November last year, before having the surgery the following month.

She had her external fixator fitted and this needed to be in place for four months, to relieve the pressure on the femoral head of her hip joint.

Amanda said: “After the surgery we stayed on Ward 2 for six days. The staff at Sheffield Children’s couldn’t do enough and we felt like all the pressure and weight had been taken away.

“Even afterwards, I know I can give them a call if I have anything worrying me. Nothing is too much trouble for them.”

Mia has since been recovering from her operation, coming to the hospital for check-ups, doing daily physiotherapy exercises and using crutches and a wheelchair to help her get around.

And, much to her delight, she is dancing again.

With huge support from her teachers and fellow dancers at McLaren Dance Company, she has even been back at the studio adapting her dance routines using just the upper half of her body while sitting on a chair.

Mia is having a second operation this week to remove the fixator, after which, the healing process can take up to two years. It is expected that she will eventually make a full recovery.

Amanda added: “A lot of people dismiss Mia’s dancing and don’t understand that it can be a career.

“But Mr Fernandes understood and listened to us – we showed him videos of Mia dancing and he showed us clips of people dancing in India after similar treatment.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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