Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, or Perthes disease, is a childhood bone disorder that typically only affects one hip, although roughly 10% of children experience it in both hips.
Symptoms tend to appear between the ages of 4 and 8, and boys are four times more likely to get Perthes disease.
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is caused by disrupted blood flow to the femoral head of the thigh bone. This may result in necrosis and collapse of the bone in the femoral head. New bone eventually replaces the old, but the previous rounded shape of the bone may now be abnormal.
When blood stops flowing to the femoral head, it begins breaking down and losing its round shape, making it difficult to fit and move in the hip socket as it should. This impacts mobility, causes pain, and can lead to early-onset osteoarthritis.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
I was diagnosed in 2009. It started in my left hip, and then it moved to my right. Shriners Children's is so loving and caring – they really care about you.
Treatment options for Legg-Calvé-Perthes
Treatment options vary, and your child will receive a personalized treatment plan that incorporates the most advanced and innovative techniques. Our focus is early detection and a customized treatment plan that is as noninvasive as possible.
Children under 6 years old tend to respond best to non-surgical interventions, which may include anti-inflammatory medications, activity restrictions (crutches or a wheelchair to reduce weight bearing), bracing or casting, and physical therapy to maintain motion.
Surgery of the femur or the socket may be necessary to improve the shape of the joint so that the femoral head remains covered by the socket, and to prevent future arthritis.