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: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease affects males approximately four to five times as often as females (4-5:1). LCPD has been shown to have hereditary components and does occur occasionally in Havanese. In the OFA data base, only 435 Havanese have been tested for LCPD. This is only approximately ¼ of Havanese tested for hip dysplasia. Of these, 99.8% are normal and only 0.2% are abnormal.These statistics would seem to indicate that the incidence of LCPD is quite low, however we do hear about it from time to time. It is very possible that the real incidence is higher than that.