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Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease (LCPD) is a childhood hip disorder initiated by a disruption of blood flow to the ball of the femur called the femoral head. Due to the lack of blood flow, the bone dies (osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis) and stops growing. Over time, healing occurs by new blood vessels infiltrating the dead bone and removing the necrotic bone which leads to a loss of bone mass and a weakening of the femoral head.[1] The bone loss leads to some degree of collapse and deformity of the femoral head and sometimes secondary changes to the shape of the hip socket. It is also referred to as idiopathic avascular osteonecrosis of the capital femoral epiphysis of the femoral head since the cause of the interruption of the blood supply of the head of the femur in thehip joint is unknown.

The condition is most commonly found in children between the ages of 4 to 8 but it can occur in children between the ages of 2 to 15. The main long-term problem with this condition is that it can produce a permanent deformity of the femoral head which increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis in adults. It is also commonly known as Perthes disease, or Legg–Perthes disease. Perthes is a form of osteochondritis which only affects the hip, although other forms of osteochondritis can affect elbows, knees, ankles, and feet. Bi-lateral Perthes which means both hips are affected should always be investigated thoroughly to rule out Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia (M.E.D.)

Michael Malloy CEO


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Common symptoms include hip, knee (hip pathology can refer pain to a normal knee), or groin pain, exacerbated by hip/leg movement, especially internal hip rotation (twisting the leg toward the center of the body). There is reduced range of motion, particularly in abduction and internal rotation, and the patient presents with a limp. Pain is usually mild. There may be atrophy of thigh muscles from disuse and an inequality of leg length. In some cases, some activity can cause severe irritation or inflammation of the damaged area including standing, walking, running, kneeling, or stooping repeatedly for an extended period of time. In cases exhibiting severe femoral osteonecrosis, pain is usually a chronic, throbbing sensation exacerbated by activity.

The first signs are complaints of soreness from the child, which are often dismissed as growing pains, and limping or other guarding of the joint, particularly when tired. The pain is usually in the hip, but can also be felt in the knee ('referred pain'). In some cases, pain is felt in the unaffected hip and leg, due to the child favoring the injured side and placing the majority of their weight on the "good" leg. It is predominantly a disease of boys (4:1 ratio). Perthes is generally diagnosed between 5 and 12 years of age, although it has been diagnosed as early as 18 months. Typically the disease is only seen in one hip, but bilateral Perthes is seen in about 10% of children diagnosed. (The differential diagnosis for bilateral Perthes disease is Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia).[6]

Disclaimer-The information herein is a general description taken from Wikipedia and is not intended to be medical advice, you should always seek the advice of a licensed physician.


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501c3 Non profit organization EIN 20-5676397