What is Perthes disease?
Perthes disease is a rare childhood condition that affects the hip when blood supply to the hip bone is disrupted. The hip is a ball and socket joint that is made up of the femoral head (ball) and acetabulum (cup/socket). The epiphysis at the upper end of the femur is the growth center that eventually becomes the femoral head. A lack of blood supply affects this growth centre and causes weakening or death of the bone tissue. This can change the shape of the hip and causes pain in the process.
Most children who develop Perthes disease live very healthy and physically active lives. Though it may be necessary to limit physical activity during treatment, children are usually able to return to the activities they enjoy. The disease is typically found in young children, with a higher prevalence seen in boys. If not treated correctly it can lead to osteoarthritis in adults.