Leg-Calve-Perthe’s Disease (Avascular Necrosis of the Hip)

Leg-Calve-Perthe’s disease, or Perthe’s disease, is a rare childhood disorder where blood supply to the head (ball) of the femur (thigh bone) is temporarily disrupted. The lack of blood supply results in avascular necrosis, where the bone cells begin to die. There are 4 stages of the disease. Stage 1 is the early stage when the bone cells begin to die due to the lack of blood supply. Stage 2 is called fragmentation, and involves flattening of the weakened bone with normal daily weight bearing activities. Stage 3 is the reparative stage were the dead bone cells are being removed and replaced by new bone. This is the longest stage and can last 3-5 years. Stage 4 is the final, healing stage, and is reached once all the bone has been restored.


Perthe’s disease typically affects children between the ages of 4 and 9 and presents as a gradual onset of pain and a limp in one or both legs (less likely) and may follow a history of trauma or metabolic disease.

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