Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Alternative Names

Coxa plana; Perthes disease

Definition of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is when the ball of the thighbone in the hip doesn’t get enough blood, causing the bone to die.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease usually occurs in boys 4 – 10 years old. There are many theories about the cause of this disease, but little is actually known.

Symptoms

The first symptom is often limping, which is usually painless. Sometimes there may be mild pain that comes and goes.

Signs and tests

During a physical examination, the health care provider will look for a loss in hip motion and a typical limp. A hip or pelvis x-ray may show signs of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. An MRI scan may be needed.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to keep the ball of the thighbone inside the socket. Your health care provider may call this “containment.” The key to doing this is to make sure the hip has good range of motion. In some cases, bracing is used to help with containment.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on the child’s age and the severity of the disease. In general, the younger the child is when the disease starts, the better the outcome.

Review

Sameer Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/16/2010

Blood supply to bone

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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