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Perthes Disease

Perthes disease: Symptoms

  • The condition usually begins with hip or groin pain. Knee pain can also be the first symptom.
  • You may notice that your child has developed a limp without any obvious injury before they even complain of any pain.
  • There may be wasting of the muscles in the upper thigh, shortening of the leg and stiffness of the hip which can restrict movement and cause problems with walking.
  • Physiotherapy is important to help you and your child manage the above symptoms and to promote the healing process ensuring that the femoral head remains well seated in the hip socket as it heals and remodels.

Also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease or avascular necrosis.

  • This is a childhood condition which affects the head of the femur (the ball of the ball and socket in the hip joint)
  • In perthes disease the blood supply to the growth plate of the bone at the end of the femur becomes inadequate. As a result the bone softens and breaks down.
  • A child with Perthes disease is usually otherwise well.
  • Over time the blood vessels regrow and the blood supply returns to the dead bone resulting in the femoral head re-growing and remodelling over several years.

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