Pathophysiology: 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. It occurs when blood supply is temporarily interrupted to the ball part (femoral head) of the hip joint. Without sufficient blood flow, the bone begins to die — so it breaks more easily and heals poorly. Signs & Symptoms: Common symptoms include hip, knee, or groin pain, exacerbated by hip/leg movement, especially internal hip rotation.
Treatment: X-Rays of the hip may suggest and/or verify the diagnosis. X-rays usually demonstrate a flattened, and later fragmented, femoral head. A bone scan or MRI may be useful in making the diagnosis in those cases where x-rays are inconclusive. Usually, plain radiographic changes are delayed 6 weeks or more from clinical onset. So bone scintography and MRI are done for early diagnosis. Treatment is done by removing mechanical pressure from the joint until the disease has run its course.
Statistics: Twenty-five patients or 50 hips with bilateral Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease were reviewed at skeletal maturity in the orthopaedic departments of Leuven, Belgium, and Montpellier, France. The two groups were very similar as to age at onset of the disease, severity of involvement, and classification at skeletal maturity. The results seem to indicate that bilateral disease runs a more severe course as compared with unilateral Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.