Medical Definition of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: A hip disorder in children due to interruption of the blood supply to the head of the femur (the ball in the ball-and-socket hip joint), causing it to deteriorate.

The disease is most common at age 6 to 9, tends to affect boys, but is more severe in girls. It can be familial. The symptoms include hip and thigh pain, stiff hip, a limp, and diminution in size of the thigh. Over a period of 18 to 24 months the blood supply usually reestablishes itself. During this period, the bone is soft and liable to fracture under pressure, causing collapse of the head of the femur.

Treatment may include casting, bracing, surgery and physical therapy. Also known as Legg, Legg-Perthes and Perthes disease and avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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