Name :  Kara Doddema   

E-mail :  KDoddema@tmimontana.com

Adult:      35 years old

Location:  Missoula, MT

Area(s) affected:   Left forearm, ulna nerve

Personal History:

I am a 35 yr old mother with six children and a great husband.  It was in my late teens when I first noticed a lump on my left forearm.  It was small and not painful so I ignored it.  That was in the late 80ís.  By November of 2007, the lump in my arm had tripled in size (6cm) and became very painful while I was doing normal everyday tasks ( it didnít help that Iím left handed as well).  I went to my general practitioner and had an MRI done.  She told me it was an osteochondroma and referred me to a Bone and Joint specialist for surgery.  When I went to see that particular doctor, he was very concerned that it could be cancerous because of the rapid growth and painfulness.  So again I was referred to a cancer specialist at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I had a bone scan done, x-ray and a CT scan and the doctors still were unsure what it was. 

            On January 16th 2008 I had a successful surgery.  The bone was compressed on my ulna nerve and eventually would have crushed it and I wouldnít have any use of my hand if I had waited.  I have lost some control on my left pinky finger but with physical therapy Iím doing much better.  It wasnít until 2 weeks after my surgery that the biopsy came back and I was officially diagnosed with melorheostosis.  The Bone and Joint doctor could only tell me the name of it and that it is very rare.  I had to go home and Google the word to understand its true meaning. 

Comments:  I feel blessed either way, Iím glad it wasnít cancer and Iíve had a successful surgery done by a great doctor in Salt Lake who had my best interest at heart.   I agreed for them to take a sample for research so I hope anything can help at this point.