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Orthopaedic Surgery

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Perthes Disease (Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease)

Also called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, this condition results from a loss of blood flow to the ball joint of the hip. When blood flow to the bone is reduced, the bone dies. This can cause the hip joint to collapse. Perthes disease affects children between 4 and 10 years old.

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Perthes Disease: What You Need to Know

  • Perthes disease is very rare, affecting less than 1 percent of all children.
  • This condition is five times more common in boys than in girls.
  • If your child has Perthes disease, you may notice him or her limping. Your child also may complain of mild pain in the groin, hip or knee area.
  • Perthes disease may run in families. Children whose parents had the disease are more likely to get the condition themselves.
  • If you suspect your child may have Perthes disease, you should consult an orthopaedic surgeon. The condition can usually be diagnosed with an X-ray. An MRI scan may also be necessary. Surgery may not be required, but a skilled pediatric orthopaedic surgeon can monitor and manage your child’s disease.

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