Legg Calvé Perthes Disease
NORD gratefully acknowledges Young-Jo Kim, MD, PhD, Director, Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program, Director, Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, for his assistance in updating this report.
Synonyms of Legg Calvé Perthes Disease
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) is one of a group of disorders known as the osteochondroses. The osteochondroses typically are characterized by degeneration and subsequent regeneration of the growing end of a bone (epiphyses). In LCPD, the growing end of the upper portion of the thigh bone (femur) is affected. The upper section of the thigh bone is known as the head or “the ball” and connects to the hip in a depression or “socket”. This is the hip joint, which is a ball and socket joint. The disorder results from an unexplained interruption of the blood supply (ischemia) to the head of the femur, which causes degeneration (avascular necrosis) and deformity of the femoral head. Symptoms may include a limp with or without pain in the hip, knee, thigh, and/or groin; muscle spasms; and/or limited or restricted movement of the affected hip. The disease process seems to be self-limiting as new blood supplies are established (revascularization) and new healthy bone forms (re-ossifies) in the affected area. The exact cause for the temporary interruption of blood flow to the femoral epiphysis is not fully understood. Most cases appear to occur randomly for no apparent reason (sporadically).
1988, 1989, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2016
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