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Perthes Disease


This disease most commonly affects children between the ages of four and eight. It involves the head of the femur. That’s the bony ball that goes into the hip socket. With this disease, the bone of the femur’s head begins to die.


Perthes Disease

Causes & Triggers

It happens when the head of the femur can’t get enough blood. We don’t know what reduces the blood supply. But without enough blood, the bone cells weaken and die. The femur’s head becomes unstable. It can lose its round shape, which can lead to later problems. It can break easily. And when it’s injured, it’s slow to heal.

Signs & Symptoms

This disease causes pain and stiffness. It causes limping. And, it can cause a child to lose range motion in the hip. Usually, this disease only affects one hip. But in some children, both may have it, and they can be affected at different times.

  • Limping
  • Pain (especially with movement)

Tips & Treatment

Treatment options may include activity restriction, crutches, special leg casts, and physical therapy. Surgery may be needed. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan that’s right for you.

  • More prevalent in boys than girls and in children ages 4-10.
  • With proper treatment, most return to normal activity.
  • Pain may be intermittent for a period of weeks or months.
  • Pain is often focused in groin, thigh or knee.
  • Treatment may range from physical therapy to casting to surgical alignment.

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