Our daughter’s Health Scare, Myositis Ossificans Diagnosis & Treatment Plan

Over the holidays, my family had a health scare with our nine-year-old daughter, Cheyenne.

Thanksgiving weekend, she began complaining about her right thigh hurting. She had just participated in her first all-night Black Friday shopping trip so I chalked it up to overuse and possibly growing pains. I suggested she take a warm bath and rub some pain cream on it, which she did.

Over the next few weeks, she continued to complain about her leg hurting in the morning when getting ready for school and at bedtime. I continued to chalk it up to growing pains.

It wasn’t until mid-December when I started to really take her complaint seriously. One day I noticed that she had to use her hands to pick up her leg to get into my car. That isn’t normal. That isn’t just a kid experiencing growing pains. I made an urgent appointment with her pediatrician.

When we went in to see her pediatrician, I honestly still believed we were dealing with growing pains or maybe a muscle strain/sprain. Her pediatrician did a thorough examination. She then recommended we go straight to x-ray. While Cheyenne had x-rays taken, I stood in the booth with the x-ray technician. I looked at the images with her as she took them. The first image she took had a “bubble” that I knew didn’t belong there. I looked at her, she looked at me, and we both went silent. My heart broke. I have a few friends with kiddos who are battling cancer. My mind went to that dark side. As the x-ray technician took additional images, we could see that the “bubble” wasn’t in her bone, it was more in the muscle. Thank God.

An hour after we left x-ray, Cheyenne’s pediatrician called me. She said that there was something unusual on her images (duh!) and they wanted us to get an MRI. I asked her if she suspected cancer. I will never forget her words, she said: “Let’s not go there YET.” What does “yet” mean?! She said that someone would call us “soon” to schedule it.

For a week we waited. We called every day to see if the procedure had been preapproved and could be scheduled. We asked about paying for it out of pocket but, it was suggested to us that we just wait for it to be preapproved. If we had paid out of pocket, it could have mess-up insurance paying for treatments. Finally, we were able to schedule the MRI for the day after Christmas.

Cheyenne did amazing during her MRI. The technicians told us that she did so well, they wanted her to come back and work for them when she is old enough. We were very fortunate that the person doing Cheyenne’s MRI is like the MRI Guru. He knows his stuff and made the whole procedure pleasant for her. Unfortunately, we were called later that afternoon and were told that we would need a second MRI done, this time with contrast. The rushed to get us in the very next morning.

The day after the second MRI, Cheyenne’s pediatrician called us. She said that they believed her “bubble” was benign and either a cyst or a calcification. She said that at that point it was out of her hands. She needed to refer us to a specialist. She wanted us to see a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

After a month of waiting for our appointment with the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, we were finally able to meet with him this week. He gave Cheyenne an exam and looked over all of her x-rays and MRI images. He diagnosed her with Myositis Ossificans.

The doctor described Myositis Ossificans to us as a condition where bone forms inside the muscle after trauma. After her muscles were injured, her cells got confused about what they were supposed to do. They developed new bone cells rather than muscle cells. We have no idea when/how Cheyenne injured her thigh. She is a normal active 9-year-old. The doctor said it could have been something small that hit her muscle just right.

Treatment for Myositis Ossificans is simply Ibuprofen and rest when needed. Thankfully, Cheyenne hasn’t complained about her leg hurting or bothering her for a while.

We go back to see the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon in May. He is going to monitor the “bubble” through x-rays. He suspects over time it will dissolve.

All things considered, we feel very lucky with the Myositis Ossificans diagnosis. It could have been so much worse.

Situations like this really make me stop and count my many blessings.


Hello, my name is Laurie. I have been married to my husband for 13 years. We have two young daughters, ages 9 and 12 years old. My family and I live in Oregon so that means we are just minutes from the beach, mountains, and desert.  We love it here and try to spend as much time outdoors playing as we can. When we aren’t outside playing, I enjoy reading, baking, refinishing furniture, and other crafts.

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This post currently has 5 responses.

  • Lissa Crane

    So glad for you at the outcome! Wow, there’s nothing scarier than your child being in harm’s way. It really puts things in perspective. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Lauralee Hensley

    So glad that he believes that it will dissolve over time but also that he’s going to keep checking it to be sure. Still though you hurt when your children hurt.

  • Alice F

    Oh my goodness ,thank God it isn’t something more serious. I hope your daughter feels better!

  • ellen beck

    I had never heard of this, but I bet it was a scare! I am glad the treatment is not invasive and hoping she feels better soon.

  • Lauryn R

    You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers! What an incredibly scary experience as a mom, I can only imagine what you must of went through! I am so glad that she is ok and that her condition only requires over the counter medicine and rest.

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