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: The results in 96 patients (106 hips) with Perthes' disease who had had conservative noncontainment treatment were studied after 35 (28-47) years. At skeletal maturity, the radiographic result was poor in 65 hips. At the average age of 43 years, radiographic signs of arthrosis were found in 48 patients (51 hips); 5 patients had had hip replacement and 13 patients had symptoms justifying that procedure. At early phases of the disease, radiographs showed biocompartmentalization of the acetabulum in 24 percent of the hips, but the acetabulum normalized in the majority.