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?
The general physician will evaluate the child’s legs physically by moving them in different directions to see the range of movement. Imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI and bone scan will be then recommended to confirm the condition.
HOW IS LEGG-CALVES-PERTHES DISEASE TREATED?
The goal of treatment is to relieve painful symptoms, protect the shape of the femoral head, and restore normal hip movement. The treatment may involve:
• A short period of bed rest to help with severe pain
• Limiting the amount of weight placed on the leg by restricting activities such as running
• Physical therapy to help keep the leg and hip muscles strong
• Taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, to relieve stiffness in the hip joint
• Wearing a cast or brace to help with containment
• Using crutches or a walker
Surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work. Surgery ranges from lengthening a groin muscle to major hip surgery, called an osteotomy, to reshape the pelvis. The exact type of surgery depends on the severity of the problem and the shape of the ball of the hip joint
DID YOU KNOW?
The exact cause of Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease is still unknown.