Oscar Pistorius was born with Fibular Hemimelia

Did you know that? Maybe not since most articles I have read don’t mention it. If you google “Oscar Pistorius Fibular Hemimelia” it does come up. I didn’t watch the Olympics so I don’t know if it was mentioned there either.

Some say he had an advantage despite scientific evidence otherwise. Prostetics have not yet advanced passed the ability of the human body. At least as far as my googling shows. If you’ve not got feet, and ankles, and calves you’ll have to use what you’ve got to make up for it, and that is quite a feat, carbon fiber springy legs or not. Still it’s really hard for me to look at this guy and think “disabled”.

When Oscar was born I doubt his family had any other option other than amputation. Even if they had options they might have still chosen amputation as many parents still do. There are kids on the various FH support groups with bilateral FH and prosthetics. I am sure they, and their parents have found a hero in Oscar Pistorius.

It’s a beautiful thing for a child to be able to look at their television and watch this amazing man, who is “like” them, run to the cheers of the world. I am thinking there will be kids asking for those amazing cheetah legs like crazy now. Most kids I’ve seen on the support groups don’t get those legs. I doubt most insurance would cover them. Which makes me wonder if Mr.Pistorius might be just the person to help these children get better prosthetics. Couldn’t an olympic athlete raise awareness and fundraise to an extent that most of us do not have the ability to.

Ahh… ability. We’re back at that again.

Oscar is quoted as saying “Being disabled doesnt have to be a disadvantage.” That sounds great and rings true but I can’t help but wish Fibular Hemimelia was mentioned more. I can’t help but wish he would use his fame to benefit children born like him who might never have access to those amazing prosthetics which enabled him to compete at the highest level possible. All kids with cheetah legs won’t all make it to the Olympics. But we’re not all born athletes wether we arrive with all the usual bones or not. He could raise awareness of FH in general and benefit all children born with limb defects.

Oscar Pistorius is an athlete. He is an athlete who was born with Fibular Hemimelia which was treated by amputating his legs below the knees. I suspect that if he was born with his fibulae in tact he would still be an athlete. If you took the time to look at his body beyond his legs I think you would see that this is true. He is an Olympic athlete and an inspiration and to be celebrated as such. He may not have entered the Olympics with an advantage but he sure does have one now and I hope he uses it.

From our families perspective it’s just not been that high on our radar. I don’t think it’s come up that much but last night I started to wonder. Nicholas woke up crying from a bad dream. In his dream he said he had a surgery on his leg but Dr.Standard couldn’t fix it and his leg fell off the operating table and he woke up with a prosthetic. As he told me this he was crying and holding onto his leg.

Nick has known for a long time that amputation was an option and for many the choice treatment for FH. Maybe having to have an extra surgery has made him scared and that influenced the dream. I don’t know really but what I do know is that Nicholas could not imagine a life without his leg. I know that even with an amputation and a cheetah leg Nicholas would not be an olympic athlete. It’s just not who he is.

I had a doctor (a pro lengthening doctor) tell me when we were choosing between amputation and lengthening that Nicholas would never run a marathon with his own leg but he could with a prosthetic. This doc didn’t think that was a reason to amputate. I didn’t either.

Oscar Pistorius is inspiring to me like anyone who is able to overcome and achieve greatness. For him the “No Fibula or rather No Fibulae, No Problem” title fits quite nicely. He’s just not going to be the guy my boy points to and identifies with. Even though he was born with Fibular Hemimelia, which you might not have known until you read this.

“no fibula” google image search results. Nick believes he is the most popular person without a fibula. I hope he’s not upset that Oscar is gaining on him. Kinda funny to see them side by side. Nick is still first though ; )

4 thoughts on “Oscar Pistorius was born with Fibular Hemimelia”

  1. Regarding Oscar Pistorius… NBC did mention several times that Oscar had a condition called fibular hemimelia and was born without fibulas in both legs. They also showed the work that Oscar does with young children in camps, many of whom were not using cheetah legs, but the more common type of prothetic.


  2. Thats great to hear! His own website only mentions his charitable work related to land mines. No one who I knew that actually watched the Olympics mentioned that to me. I thought with Nicholas having FH someone would have told me. Thanks for the info.


  3. It seems like your blog has a subtle undertone that limb lengthening is superior to prosthetics. It’s unfortunate because none of the other blogs I have read by mothers of amputees ever seem to have that kind of undertone in their posts. It came through numerous times in this post specifically, talking about Oscar and how perhaps his parents didn’t have another choice at the time, how not all kids need to be athletes, how most kids don’t have the kinds of prosthetics he has. There’s this subtle air of negativity towards amputees and their position. It’s obvious in your other posts, as well, and it makes me sad that your underlying message to readers is that amputation is an inferior choice and that you need to point out how XYZ is why. Celebrate your child and your choice, but do so in a way that doesn’t pass judgment on others. It shouldn’t be necessary to put another option down in order to lift yours up- especially if you feel confident it was the right one for you. Perhaps that’s why I never read in other blogs the author giving a message of superiority… because he or she is content and confident with their choice to amputate and doesn’t feel the need to talk about another option that was in the past. Just my two sense, for it’s worth.


  4. I disagree with your assessment. Anonymous comments are of little concern to me anyway. I am fairly sure you have your own agenda and that is why you are taking my posts the way you are. I read about Oscar on his web site and the charity he championed was land mines and I could not help but wish he was helping kids with amputations resulting from congenital differences like his.

    By the way I have dealt with a lot of amputation folks negativity towards my choice. Have you been on any of the Facebook or other web groups for fh and limb differences? The negativity is out there. I realize we are all just parents trying to do the right thing for our kids. But you suggesting that I do not celebrate my child tells me you have not read too many posts on this blog.

    Did you read the title of my blog? No Fibula No Problem Fibular Hemimelia: A journey through diagnosis, decisions, limb lengthening, reconstruction and just loving my boy! That’s what I’m writing about. Stop reading if you don’t like it. Take your negativity an please move on.


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