Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Definition

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease occurs when the ball of the thigh bone in the hip does not get enough blood, causing the bone to die.

Alternative Names

Coxa plana; Perthes disease

Causes

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease usually occurs in boys 4 through 10 years old. There are many theories about the cause of this disease, but little is actually known.

Without enough blood to the area, the bone dies. The ball of the hip collapses and becomes flat. Most often, only one hip is affected, although it can occur on both sides.

The blood supply returns over several months, bringing in new bone cells. The new cells gradually replace the dead bone over 2 to 3 years.

Symptoms

The first symptom is often limping, which is usually painless. Sometimes there may be mild pain that comes and goes.

Other symptoms may include:

Exams and Tests

During a physical examination, the health care provider will look for a loss in hip motion and a typical limp. A hip x-ray or pelvis x-ray may show signs of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. An MRI scan may be needed.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to keep the ball of the thigh bone inside the socket. The provider may call this containment. The reason for doing this is to make sure the hip continues to have good range of motion.

The treatment plan may involve:

  • A short period of bed rest to help with severe pain
  • Limiting the amount of weight placed on the leg by restricting activities such as running
  • Physical therapy to help keep the leg and hip muscles strong
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, to relieve stiffness in the hip joint
  • Wearing a cast or brace to help with containment
  • Using crutches or a walker

Surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work. Surgery ranges from lengthening a groin muscle to major hip surgery, called an osteotomy, to reshape the pelvis. The exact type of surgery depends on the severity of the problem and the shape of the ball of the hip joint.

It is important for the child to have regular follow-up visits with the doctor and an orthopedic specialist.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Outlook depends on the child's age and the severity of the disease.

Children younger than 6 years old who receive treatment are more likely to end up with a normal hip joint. Children older than age 6 are more likely to end up with a deformed hip joint, despite treatment, and may later develop arthritis in that joint.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your provider if a child develops any symptoms of this disorder.

References

Canale ST. Osteochondrosis or epiphysitis and other miscellaneous affections. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 32.

Kim HKW, Herring JA. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. In: Herring JA, ed. Tachdjian's Pediatric Orthopaedics. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 17.

Review Date:7/10/2015
Reviewed By:Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Read More

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No