Perthes' disease

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Perthes' disease is a form of idiopathic osteonecrosis (or osteochondrosis) of the femoral head in childhood (1).

  • characteristically there is avascular necrosis of the epiphysis resulting in impaired enchondral ossification of the femoral head (2)
  • it occurs principally in boys aged between 5 and 12 (3)

Presentation is with pain and limping, usually affecting just one hip, but occasionally both, developing over a month (1).



Last reviewed 11/2019