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 skeletal age was determined in 223 children with Legg-Calvé-Perthes' disease admitted to hospital in Denmark during a ten year period. The 154 patients from Denmark were matched with a control group of normal children and showed a significant delay in skeletal maturation. In boys diagnosed before the age of five the delay increased over the next four to five years but when diagnosis was made after the age of eight, the delay decreased over a comparable period. There was no correlation between delay in skeletal maturation and the duration of the disease. Height, weight and growth rates were normal.