Angelica Panganiban opens up on rare bone disease: ‘Malas lang talaga at nangyari siya sa akin’


Actress Angelica Panganiban has opened up about her journey in battling Avascular Necrosis or “bone death”.

“I have Avascular Necrosis,” Angelica began in her vlog revealing her health condition.

According to the health website John Hopkins Medicine, “Avascular Necrosis is a disease that results from the temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone. When blood supply is cut off, the bone tissue dies, and the bone collapses.”

The actress endured significant pain in her hips, which began six months into her pregnancy. She initially dismissed the discomfort as pregnancy-related changes, until this persisted after childbirth.

During a vacation in Palawan with friends Glaiza de Castro and Ketchup Eusebio among others, the intense pain struck again, preventing her from walking.

Angelica sought medical advice, underwent an ultrasound, and was advised to undergo therapy due to the presence of fluid in the hip area. Unable to take medication while breastfeeding, she endured two months of therapy, providing temporary relief.

She later faced a time when she couldn’t walk, prompting a visit to an orthopedic doctor with her husband Gregg Homan at Asian Hospital. There, she underwent Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, a procedure using blood plasma, and was informed that it involved stem cells.

“Nagkaroon ng isang time na hindi na ako makalakad, sobra akong in pain, iyak ako nang iyak. Dinala ako ni Gregg sa Asian Hospital sa ortho doctor,” Angelica recalled.

“Doon in-injection-an ako ng PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma). Ito ‘yung plasma, ito ‘yung blood na kinuha sa atin, tapos may ginagawa sila…. like ilalagay nila sa machine. Tapos magiging ano na siya, tinatawag nila yata, kung ‘di ako nagkakamali ay stem cell na siya,” she added.

Although the treatment initially helped, the pain returned after resuming her workout routine.

“Namatay na ‘yung mga bones ko sa aking balakang kaya pala hirap na ako maglakad kaya ‘yung mobility ko ay hindi nasosolusyunan kahit pa anong gawin kong strengthening, so ayun, hindi na siya maso-solusyunan,” Angelica explained while she was on bed rest.

Despite the initial suggestion of hip replacement, she opted for a more targeted PRP treatment, with plasma injected directly into the affected bone.

“This time nag-drill sila ng hole at in-inject nila ‘yung PRP directly doon sa dead bone ko. Masakit ba ang procedure? Hindi ko inakala na masakit siya. Tulo nang tulo ang luha ko, parang kahit paano nakaramdam ako ng awa sa sarili ko,” she described how she felt during the procedure.

Panganiban was then informed that the cause of Avascular Necrosis was due to steroid abuse, a practice she had never engaged in.

“Bakit ako nagkakaganito, bakit ako nagkakaganito, [bakit] sa akin nangyari ito? Kasi ang cause ng avascular necrosis ay steroid abuse. Kung mapapansin niyo naman never na lumaki ang katawan ko, never akong nagka-muscle sa buong katawan ko,” she shared.

“‘Di siya part ng lifestyle ko, hindi naman ako athlete, ‘di naman ako body-builder or hindi siya part ng buhay ko lang, hindi para mag-take ako ng steroid. So ano ang cause niya? Wala tinatawag na malas lang talaga at nangyari siya sa akin.”

Despite the painful procedure, Angelica remained positive, emphasizing the importance of a strong mindset in healing, “I’m staying positive dahil sabi nila mas madaling makagaling ang mind kaya iniisip ko na magaling na ako.”

The former child star expressed disbelief at experiencing such a condition at 37 and hopes for a swift recovery, as she looks forward to resuming work next year.

“So minsan I just can’t believe na at the age of 37 nagkaroon ako ng bone death, there’s something dead inside me. I am hoping na mabilis din ang recovery ko at hopefully makapagtrabaho na ako next year,” Angelica said.

She encouraged those experiencing physical pain to stay strong for those who rely on them.

Patricia Dela Roca
Patricia Dela Roca
Patricia Dela Roca is a content producer with nerdy tendencies. She tends to lose herself in writing, films, fictional novels, video games, and in her Kpop bias' eyes.