Danny Bonaduce, the 63-year-old radio host, has finally received a diagnosis and treatment plan after a year of uncertainty. He has been struggling with speech, balance, and walking, but recent tests have revealed that he has hydrocephalus. To alleviate some of his symptoms, Bonaduce is scheduled to undergo brain surgery on Monday.
In April 2022, Bonaduce’s wife, Amy Railsback, noticed changes in his speech and difficulty with walking and balancing. Concerned about his condition, he was admitted to the hospital for five days and underwent various tests. However, doctors were initially unable to determine the cause of his symptoms. Hydrocephalus, as described by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), is a condition characterized by the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain’s ventricles. It can affect individuals of any age. Despite the diagnosis, the specific cause of Bonaduce’s illness remains unknown.
Bonaduce attributes his past participation in reality shows and the physical incidents he experienced during those shows to his current condition. He recalls being struck in the head with a guitar and being punched in the face by Jose Canseco, a professional baseball player weighing 265 lbs, during a celebrity boxing match in 2009.
While the underlying cause of his illness is still unclear, Bonaduce now has a diagnosis (hydrocephalus) and a treatment plan (brain surgery). The procedure, known as shunt surgery, involves the surgical insertion of a drainage system (shunt) to alleviate the excess fluid in his brain. The Hydrocephalus Association states that over 36,000 shunt surgeries are performed annually, with many considered emergency procedures. Unfortunately, shunts have one of the highest failure rates among medical devices, often requiring multiple surgeries.
Danny Bonaduce remains cautious about his expectations for the future as he prepares for brain surgery and embarks on a lifelong battle with this disease. While he hopes the shunt surgery will partially alleviate his symptoms, he prefers not to set his hopes too high. He anticipates a 50 percent improvement with the correct diagnosis, but he understands the need to prioritize safety over optimism. He expressed his concern about potential disappointment if the surgery doesn’t work, as his current mobility is severely affected. He acknowledges that he may never regain full mobility and expects limitations in his daily activities. His aspirations of running track or boxing again are behind him, and he will find contentment in being able to walk to the kitchen independently.