Name : David Leggett

E-mail : 

Adult: 20 years old

City State:  Winder Georgia

Area of body affected:  increased activity on entire left side

Personal History:

Well, I guess it started just before I went to the Army. Before the physical exam to join I noticed that my left thumb didn't move like it should, but everybody said not to worry about it. During the physical exam I told the doctor and he also told me not to worry about it. That is was just from getting it jammed as a child. After going to Fort Knox I noticed almost day by day that my thumb didn't move as much as it had the day before. When I went to the doctor it didn't move at all and I was having trouble on the runs and marches because my left knee always seemed to give out. After 2 months and 6 days in the Army I got a medical discharge with the doctor saying it was simply calcium build-ups preventing my thumb from moving, but the doctors in my hometown of Hazlehurst, Georgia weren't so sure. After a bone scan the radiologist (thinking I had osteomylitis) noticed increased activity from my left jaw down to all toes on my left foot. Soon after I was sent to Dr. Munson at Crawford Long hospital in Atlanta, Georgia who diagnosed me with Melorheostosis. After that Dr. Hein an orthopedic doctor in Jesup, Georgia said that he also felt it was Melorheostosis. In January of 2001 I had surgery to remove bone from my hip and place it in my hand to keep my thumb in a "normal" position. In July of 2001 he went back into my thumb to fuse the joints together so I would be able to use my thumb as a "post" to hold objects. Even though he wasn't able to pull my thumb out as far as both of us would have liked, it is doing very well. Other than the normal pain that comes with the disease my "post" thumb works fine, even if it doesn't move. Now I'm trying to find somebody who will fix my elbow and knee. So if anybody knows of some good doctors in the Atlanta area please let me know at also email me if you would just like to talk.

UPDATE: April/25, 2002:

I underwent a "test" nerve block for pain in my left thumb. The nerve responded well and I will follow up with a more permanent nerve block.

UPDATE:  November 6, 2007: 

I had a more permanent nerve block done in 2002 but for some reason I didn't respond as well and decided the extreme pain of the procedure wasn't worth another possible failure. I've had to go back to the doctors a few times over the past few years as it seems that I've broke then fusions that were made in my thumb. At this point, I'm trying to hold out until more doctors in the area become confident enough to try to fix it before I go through another surgery. In 2006 I had a wreck and the doctors took x-rays and MRI's to make sure I wasn't hurt from the wreck. During this process it was noted in the reports that it appeared I'd had surgery on my shoulder because of scar tissue and the overall bad condition it was in. Before the wreck and since I've had pain in my shoulder and elbow but with the insurance I now have it's more difficult to get things taken care of as the procedures are so expensive. On another note, I've not let it interfere too much as I'm still playing my guitar every day and actually think it's a form of physical therapy keeping my fingers from getting worse. I suppose only time will tell.

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