Perthes Disease, also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, belongs to a group of disorders called the Osteochondroses. These disorders affect the epiphyses (growing part of the hip) during childhood and Perthes Disease is by far the most common of the Osteochondroses.
- Perthes Disease usually occurs between the ages of 5-10 years
- It is more common in boys than in girls
- The cause is not known, some or all of the cells in the femoral epiphysis die and this causes pain in the hip joint that interferes with walking.
- The disease usually starts gradually and progresses slowly.
- Joint movements are limited and thigh muscles become wasted.
How the disease progresses:
- If left untreated the disease usually follows a prolonged but self-limited course taking about 2-3 years.
- When the condition eventually settles, the residual damage to the femoral head predisposes to secondary degenerative arthritis.
- Orthopaedic treatment involves prolonged bed rest, mobile traction, slings and containment of femoral head with plaster casts and splints.
- The long-term effects of Perthes Disease are less severe if the disease is treated.