Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

Harry K. W. Kim, MD J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 11, November 2010

Abstract: Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is an idiopathic hip disorder that produces ischemic necrosis of the growing femoral head. Permanent femoral head deformity is the most significant sequela. Experimental studies indicate that the pathologic repair process, which is marked by an imbalance of bone resorption and formation, contributes to the pathogenesis of femoral head deformity. Important prognostic factors include degree of deformity, age at disease onset, extent of head involvement, head-at-risk signs, and lateral pillar collapse. Treatment should be guided by age at disease onset, current best evidence, and prognostic factors. Patients aged <6 years at onset are best managed nonsurgically, whereas older patients may benefit from surgical treatment. Good surgical results have been reported in 40% to 60% of older patients (>8 years), indicating the need to develop more effective treatments based on the pathobiology of the disease.

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