Name :  Jack S. Damico   

E-mail :

Adult:      57 years old

Location:  Lafayette, Louisiana

Area(s) affected:  Left femur and hip

Personal History:

In my early twenties I noticed a bulge on my left outside thigh.  Manipulation indicated a fairly hard mass that tended not to be painful.  I just assumed it was a muscular malformation and I did not remember any injury to the spot.  I was always fairly active physically playing sports, running and hiking and experienced only some pain.

Over the past 30 years or so I did occasionally experience pain at the location of the left femur that I would characterize as “deep bone pain” but it was fleeting.  Several years ago I began experiencing more constant pain in the left leg within the thigh, thinking it was due to muscular strain or ligament/tendon problems since I have always had tight tendons and little flexibility and felt that perhaps a reduction in exercise resulted in strains or reduced flexibility.  I did go to a Physical Therapist on the recommendation of my Physician for possible Trochanteric Bursitis and/or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.  Physical exercises, stretches, and cold compacts were employed.  The relief was only temporary.  Over the past two years, the pain became more noticeable. The “deep bone pain” occurred more frequently and there is always a burning kind of pain. 

Over the past 18 months the pain has become constant and affects my sleep since the hip/thigh hurt and at night I generally only sleep a few hours at a time.  Approximately fours months ago I observed a bulge in my left hip and pointed it out to my Physician who immediately had x-rays and a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.  After x-rays, CT-scans and bone scans a malignant neoplasm was suspected and I was referred to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  After extensive tests there, the diagnosis was benign tumor due to melorheostosis of the left femur and hip.  

Current treatment is to watch the hip tumor/growth with a six month review and pain management.  Currently the pain management is with Advil and with Hydrocodone or Propoxyphene (still trying them out).  The pain is continual but not debilitating and the hip growth continues.  My Physician at M.D. Anderson is willing to shave the growth on the hip if needed but that may result in some damage to the muscles involved with walking so I am reluctant. 

I am trying to learn what I can and establish a way to deal with the pain. I am walking everyday for about an hour and have started yoga to try to keep the muscles strong and the leg as flexible as possible.  I am still within 6 weeks of the original diagnosis of melorheostosis and don’t know what course the disease will take.   

Return to Personal Histories