Eva Burdeshaw was 2 years old when she started gymnastics. She quickly fell in love with the physical fun—the jumping, the tumbling, the twirling—and over the years advanced to become a Level 7 gymnast.
“She did gymnastics 24/7,” said her mom, Allison.
But at 11 years old, after complaining of worsening hip pain, Eva was told her gymnastics days were likely over.
Doctors and sports medicine specialists from her hometown of Akron offered varying diagnoses from simple overuse to potentially more major conditions like Legg-Calvé-Perthes (LCP). Nothing was conclusive, yet Eva’s pain persisted.
Allison listened to all the experts, but she also listened to herself.
“I just had a nagging feeling in the back of my head going, ‘You need to go somewhere else,’” she said.
Search for Second Opinion Leads to Cincinnati Children’s
This inner voice led Allison to an online support group, where many suggested she and her husband, Josh, seek a second opinion. Further research then led to Cincinnati Children’s and the highly rated Hip Preservation Program.
In July 2018, Eva and her parents met Patrick Whitlock, MD, PhD, co-director of the Hip Preservation Center. He diagnosed her with early avascular necrosis (AVN), loss of blood flow to her hip.
“Dr. Whitlock looked at everything and said, ‘She doesn’t have Perthes; she has AVN.’ He explained everything—what it was, what was going on,” said Allison. “He gave us focus and answered our questions and went through the whole process.”