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A to Z: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

A to Z: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

May also be called: LCP or Perthes disease

Legg-Calvé-Perthes (leg-cal-VAY-PER-teez) disease is a hip disorder that affects bone growth at the top part of the thighbone and the hip joint. It usually occurs in kids between 4 and 8 years of age, and is more common in boys.

More to Know

The cause of LCP is not known, but it sometimes runs in families. Children who are around secondhand smoke, were born very small, or have certain blood problems also are more likely to develop it.

Symptoms can include limping, hip pain, and knee pain. The pain usually comes on slowly and may be mild.

When LCP is suspected, the doctor will do a physical exam and order X-rays. Early stages of LCP do not always show up on an X-ray, so an MRI or other imaging study also might be done.

Keep in Mind

Treatment depends on the child's age, amount of pain, and other factors. Decreasing activity can sometimes ease pain, but some kids will need a brace, cast, or crutches to keep them from putting weight on the leg. Some must rest the leg completely, and severe cases may require surgery. Many kids with LCP need physical therapy to help them improve the range of motion in the hip and leg muscles.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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