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: A total of 711 patients with 766 affected hips were seen from January 1, 1993 to December 31, 1995. The average annual incidence of LCPD was 0.9/100 000. The average age at diagnosis was 7 years 1 month (2.3-14.3 years). The male/female ratio of the study population was 6.3 : 1.0. The affected-side ratio (right hip/left hip/both hips) was 5.1 : 6.8 : 1.0. Both hips were affected in 7.7% of this series. By the Stulberg classification there were 211 (69.4%) type I and II patients (of 304 total patients).