Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Perthes Disease Overview

Another name for Perthes Disease is Legg Perthes Disease.

What is Legg-Perthes disease?
A child with Legg-Perthes disease has a breakdown of the bone at the top of the femur, where it meets the pelvis to form the hip joint. This breakdown is caused by a lack of blood flow to the top of the femur, which results in death of the bone cells and destruction of the top of the femur. The cause of the decreased blood flow is unknown. Legg-Perthes disease is most common in males between the ages of 4 and 10 years.

What are the symptoms of Legg-Perthes disease?
Symptoms of Legg-Perthes disease include hip pain, hip stiffness, knee pain, difficulty walking, limping, muscle weakness in the thigh, and leg shortening on one side.

How does the doctor treat Legg-Perthes disease?
Treatment for Legg-Perthes disease includes rest, crutches, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain, and surgery.

Continue to Perthes Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 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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