• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Perthes Disease: Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease in Children

Perthes is also known as Legg-Calve- Perthes disease is a hip disease affecting kids. The ball head of the thighbone (femur) lacks its blood flow in this scenario. The thigh’s head falls, so that the area gets swollen and irritated. Blood is very important to the bone when oxygen and bone nutrition are given. The absence of blood flow leads to osteonecrosis. If the blood flow is blocked too long, the ball portion of the femur will ultimately collapse. The bone can increase its power, but the form of the femur can be permanently deformed as the blood flow returns to the femur ball.

Is Perthes Disease Common?

This is a rare illness that affects one out of ten thousand toddlers. In children four to eight years old, the disease normally occurs. In 10 to 12% of the children, both hips are affected.

Who Gets Perthes Disease?

Perthes disease

Young boys, Credits: canva


Perthes illness in boys is five times higher than in girls. The disease is more common in children who are very active, athletic. Asians, Eskimos and Caucasians are commonly affected. The risk factor is known to be exposure to second-hand smoke, although this is not clear why.

What Are The Causes Of Perthes Diseases?

There is Blood supplies to the femur ball often inadequate. The reason how and why this happens is unclear. Trauma can cause blood vessel damage or disorders that cause the blood to coagulate and clog up the veins. The lack of blood supply leads to a series of events. The bone cells in the femur’s head first die. Next, the femur’s head gradually collapses and loses its roundness due to the weakness of these areas, which is labeled as ‘fragmentation.’

The bone tissue affected is then incorporated by the body. If the blood flow comes back, new bone tissue creatures evolve to assume the form of a new femur head. This will continue for a couple of years. Finally, the bone is healed in its ending form, but this end form is not necessarily a complete, round head.

Perthes disease can also be due to mutations in certain genes that remain to be investigated.

What Are The Symptoms Of Perthes Disease?

Perthes disease

A woman with hip pain, Credits: canva


You may notice changes in your child during walking/running. The other signs and symptoms of Perthes disease include.

  1. The Pain in the hip area. Pain may aggravate during activity.

  2. The Pain in the thigh or knee area

  3. Pain may subside during rest

  4. Stiffness or decreased motion in the hip joint

  5. Limping

Sometimes this disease can be diagnosed when taking an X-ray for other fall or injury. Consult your doctor if your child complains of limping, knee, or hip pain. Emergency medical care may be required if your child has a fever or can’t bear weight on the leg.

How Perthes Disease Is Diagnosed?

legg calve perthes disease

A doctor evaluating an X-ray, Credits: canva


In cases of Perthes disease, the pediatric orthopedic surgeon will find that the child’s leg is shorter than the average leg.

Perthes disease is diagnosed by an X-ray investigation. A MRI may be essential to track the development of the disease. Your health care professional can even assess the muscular atrophy in your infant.

How Perthes Disease Is Treated?

Treatment for the disease depends on your child’s condition and age. The treatment part involves immobilization and limiting normal activity. Younger children (6 to 8 years) may be treated with medications or weight-bearing restrictions. Elderly children are treated with or without surgery. Surgical solutions restore correct hip bone alignment. Your child can benefit from physical therapy. Non-surgical interventions include the use of anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and physical therapy.

Prognosis of Perthes Disease

The risk of adult hip arthritis in children who have Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is higher particularly if the hip joint cure abnormally.

Younger children have a better response. After a few years of treatment, most young children can resume their normal activities.

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