A teenager who was unable to walk for a year because of severe leg pain was shocked to learn she needed four screws in her hip.
Aimee Keogh, 14, was called “penguin” by classmates because of her limp, but thought it was just a rugby injury.
However the schoolgirl, from St Helens, has since learned that she has a rare condition called lipped upper femoral epiphysis.
Aimee’s mum Sarah Keogh told the Liverpool Echo that Aimee had started limping before lockdown but the family thought it was just a rugby injury.
However, when lockdown hit, Aimee struggled to see a doctor and had to have phone consultations with a GP.
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Sarah said: “They ended up doing an x-ray of her knee and her thigh and they couldn’t see anything wrong but she still wasn’t right.
“She was limping that badly she was being called a penguin at school.
“Her leg had turned outwards and I just thought it was to cause her less pain but I didn’t realise she actually couldn’t turn her leg.”
“I had to keep pushing (to doctors) that there was something wrong and that her leg wasn’t okay.”
Aimee was then taken to Warrington Hospital, where she was seen by a consultant who also worked at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Sarah explained: “As soon as the consultant saw her he had an idea what was wrong, she had this thing called a slipped upper femoral epiphysis, so basically her leg had slipped out of socket really.”
Slipped upper femoral epiphysis is the most common hip disorder in adolescents, yet still only occurs in around 10 children per 100,000.
As soon as the diagnosis was made, Aimee was told by doctors that she was not to walk, and was taken to Alder Hey by ambulance, where consultant Mr Talbot performed her surgery.
Sarah said: “They essentially dislocated her hip and cut through the bone, so she has four screws in her hip now.
“They were hoping she would be walking within 6 weeks but there were problems with her blood supply, it’s been almost a year since her surgery and she’s only really started walking in the past three weeks.
Aimee took part in a 3km walk across Knowsley Safari Park, shortly after being able to walk again, on September 12, and raised £600 for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
“As soon as she knew she could walk she wanted to do the walk she wanted to do this 3km walk to raise money for Alder Hey, but she’d just started walking again so she took one crutch as a security blanket but she wanted to say thank you for all that they’ve done.”