Legg Calve Perthes Disease



It is not known why blood supply does not reach the head of the thigh bone.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in males and children who are 4 to 8 years of age. It is also more common in children who are White.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Obesity
  • Problems with blood clotting



Limping is a common first symptom. Other problems may be:

  • Hip or groin pain
  • Thigh or knee pain
  • Pain that is worse with activity
  • Limited motion in the hip


The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip. This may be enough to suspect LCPD. The doctor may refer your child to a doctor who treats bones and joints.

Images of the hip may be taken. This can be done with:

  • X-ray
  • MRI scan
  • Bone scans



Treatment will depend on the child's age. The goal is to ease pain and improve motion. This may be done with:

  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy to improve strength and range of motion
  • Casting and bracing to keep the head of the thigh bone in place

Children who are not helped by other methods may need surgery to keep the head of the thigh bone in place.


There are no guidelines to prevent LCPD.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.