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 rarity of the Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (LCPD) in Chinese children in Hong Kong has been reported. However, this hip disorder is not uncommon among children in Taiwan between the ages of 3 and 9. Fifty-seven patients with LCPD were observed during a 4-year period. Of these, 47 hips in 43 patients were followed up through a significant course of the disease, with an average period of 38.8 months. The mean age at onset of symptoms was 6.6 years for boys and 7.1 years for girls. Over half of the patients (67%) were older than 6 years of age at onset of the disease.