Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a childhood condition that affects the hip, where the thighbone (femur) and pelvis meet in a ball-and-socket joint. This disease occurs when blood supply is temporarily interrupted to the ball part of the hip joint. Without sufficient blood flow, the bone begins to die and it breaks more easily and heals poorly. Symptoms may include:
• Hip stiffness that limits hip movement
• Knee pain
• Limited range of motion
• Thigh or groin pain that does not go away
• Shortening of the leg, or legs of unequal length
• Muscle loss in the upper thigh
HOW IS LEGG-CALVES-PERTHES DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
An Orthopedic diagnoses Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease by conducting a physical examination to determine the range of motion within the thigh and hip. However, further tests such as bone scans, MRI and X-Rays help in are necessary to confirm its diagnosis.
HOW IS LEGG-CALVES-PERTHES DISEASE TREATED?
Surgery is not recommended for children under the age of six. Physical therapy and use of crutches temporarily may help. In older children, surgery is advisable to prevent hip injury or arthritis later in life.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children who have had Legg-Calve-Perthes disease are at higher risk of developing hip arthritis in adulthood — particularly if the hip joint heals in an abnormal shape. If the hip bones don't fit together well after healing, this can cause the joint to wear out early. Hip replacement surgery eventually may be required.