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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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There is a significant variation of incidence between countries. A higher incidence is seen in the UK, the Faroe Islands, and Norway (1)

  • incidence also depends on race e.g. - 10.8 per 100,000 Caucasians and 0.45 Black children
  • a higher incidence is also recorded in
    • areas of lower population compared to more densely populated areas (2)
    • lower socioeconomic status
    • delayed skeletal age

It occurs primarily in children aged between 5 and 12 years (2); typically between 3 and 7 years. (2)

  • more common in boys (5x) than in girls (3)
  • a benign disease is seen when diagnosed at a younger age while children diagnosed at an older age requires increased intervention and generally experience poorer outcomes (3)
  • family history in 12%
  • about 15% are bilateral (3).


  1. Perry DC et al. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease in the UK: Geographic and temporal trends in incidence reflecting differences in degree of deprivation in childhood. Arthritis & Rheumatism 2012;64(5):1673-1679
  2. Taghi Karimi, McGarry T.  A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Surgical and Nonsurgical Treatment of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: A Review of the Literature. Adv Orthop. 2012; 2012: 490806.
  3. Dillman JR, Hernandez RJ. MRI of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009;193(5):1394-407.

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