Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

What is Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease?

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, often called Perthes disease, is an uncommon condition in children affecting the hip. Perthes disease occurs when blood flow to the ball (femoral head) at the top of the thigh bone (femur) temporarily stops. If the growing bone does not get enough blood, it dies and the ball collapses and becomes flat. As a result, the ball no longer moves easily in the hip socket. The hip can become painful and stiff. Over a period of time, the blood supply comes back and new bone cells gradually replace the dead bone. This process may take up to 2-3 years. The disease can occasionally occur in both hips (5%-10%), but usually not at the same time.

Learn more about Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.

Online Medical Reviewer: Luks, Howard, MD Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C

Date Last Reviewed: 2/13/2012

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