Perthes’ disease is a condition where the top of the thigh bone (the femoral head) softens and breaks down; it is a relatively common childhood pathology, affecting 10,8 in 100 000 children.
It occurs in some children and causes a limp and other symptoms. The bone gradually heals and reforms as the child grows. Although, there is ongoing research for the last 100 years, its etiology remains essentially unknown (Nelitz, 2009). Typical age is from 3-7, with boys more affected than girls. They come to medical attention for limping and complaining about groin pain.
The aim of treatment is to ensure that the femoral head regrows back into its normal shape so that the hip joint can function well. Depending on the severity of the disease, treatment goes from frequent follow-ups to reconstructive hip surgery (Nelitz et al., 2009).
Nelitz M. et al., 2009, Perthes Disease: Currente Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment, Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, 106(31-32), pp: 517-523