Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Perthes Disease Anatomy

To better understand Legg Perthes disease, it helps to understand the anatomy of the hip.

The hip is a ball and socket joint between the head of the femur and the pelvis. The head of the femur represents the ball, and the acetabulum of the pelvic bone represents the socket. The hip joint is lined with cartilage, which is a smooth surface that lines the inside all joints. The inside of the joints are lubricated with a slippery substance, called synovial fluid.

A bursa is a small sac that is filled with very slippery fluid. The bursa acts as a lubricating pad between a tendon and bone. This prevents destruction of the tendon as it moves over a bone.

Anatomy examples:

  • The hip joint viewed from the front
  • The hip joint with the joint capsule open
  • The hip joint viewed from behind
  • Normal hip x-ray
  • The femur and pelvis

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Perthes Disease References
  1. Balasa VV, Gruppo RA, Glueck CJ, Wang P, Roy DR, Wall EJ, Mehlman CT, Crawford AH. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and thrombophilia. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Dec;86-A(12):2642-7. [15590848]
  2. Glueck CJ, Crawford A, Roy D, Freiberg R, Glueck H, Stroop D. Association of antithrombotic factor deficiencies and hypofibrinolysis with Legg-Perthes disease. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1996 Jan;78(1):3-13. [8550676]
  3. Glueck CJ, Freiberg RA, Crawford A, Gruppo R, Roy D, Tracy T, Sieve-Smith L, Wang P. Secondhand smoke, hypofibrinolysis, and Legg-Perthes disease. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1998 Jul;(352):159-67. [9678044]
  4. Reinker KA. Early diagnosis and treatment of hinge abduction in Legg-Perthes disease. J Pediatr Orthop. 1996 Jan-Feb;16(1):3-9. [8747346]
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