Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (LCPD) is a disorder that affects the upper part of the thighbone (head of the femur). It occurs most frequently in children between the ages of 3 and 12. Boys are affected about 4 to 5 times as often as girls. Usually only one hip is affected, although it is possible to have LCPD in both hips.
LCPD develops because of loss of blood flow to the head of the femur. This causes breakdown (avascular necrosis) and deformity of the femur in this area. The bone re-forms in the hip area when the blood supply returns to normal. During this time, the femur is soft and may easily fracture and collapse. The head of the femur heals in an abnormal shape and does not fit properly into the hip socket, causing stiffness and pain. The cause of LCPD is unknown.
Symptoms of LCPD include:
Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms but may include physical therapy, a brace or cast, or surgery. Sometimes the disease heals on its own without treatment.
Last Revised: March 1, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.